JLG To Build Products In China
JLG Industries and parent company Oshkosh Corp. broke ground last Tuesday in Tianjin, China, for a manufacturing facility to meet what both companies say is a growing demand for aerial platforms in the Chinese and other Asian markets.
The new plant will produce JLG equipment specifically for the Asian market.
Oshkosh Corp. Chairman and CEO Robert Bohn said, in a statement released Nov. 18, that the new plant would be a complement to other JLG manufacturing facilities that build products for the rest of the world.
The groundbreaking took place just a few days after JLG began a staggered layoff of 500 employees worldwide in its third downsizing since July, a result of the global economic slowdown, the company has said.
When the latest round of layoffs is completed at the end of January, 1,400 workers will have lost their jobs with JLG.
"We have chosen to expand in China because we believe the Asian market holds tremendous long-term potential for our access equipment. In many respects, our Asian customers are just beginning to see the tremendous value that access equipment can provide in construction, manufacturing, maintenance, industrial and shipyard applications," said Craig Paylor, president of JLG and Oshkosh Corp. executive vice president, in the statement.
Bohn also called the new plant "a significant opportunity for our customers, as well as the company." He said, "This locally produced product will give Oshkosh a distinct strategic advantage in a very aggressive, competitive Asian landscape."
According to the statement, JLG has sold and serviced its products in Asia for decades and, in 2002, opened a Beijing office to im- prove response time for its Chinese customers.
JLG's vice president of global marketing, Kirsten Skyba, said on Friday that the timing of the groundbreaking in China was unfortunate due to the layoffs, but that plans to break ground last week had been in the works for a long time.
"We're really investing in the future," Skyba said about the China plant. She said JLG had a history of putting production where its market is and that the company sees China as having real long-term potential for growth and development. She also noted the cost of shipping products made in this country to customers in Asia and said that making JLG equipment in China would make the company more competitive.
"It's good to be with a company that has a long-term view, even if it has short-term problems," Skyba concluded.
Besides MeConnellsburg, JLG currently has production facilities in Shippensburg and Bedford, Pa.; Orville, Ohio; Oaks, N.D.; Maasmechelen, Belgium, Tonneins, France; and Medias, Romania.