A well crafted release from the kids in Valcourt was issued last Thursday that caught our attention. After taking some heat a few yeas back for moving their ATV production to Mexico (you’ll remember Polaris did the same about two year’s ago and was hissed for the move too) BRP has now announced they will be moving production of their watercraft from Valcourt to Mexico. In addition, they will also shift their North American distribution of parts, accessories and clothing from an internal operation to a third party logistics provider. When hearing about 500 jobs would be affected by the move, we contacted the company for further comment. According to a BRP spokesperson, “The 500 jobs affected are throughout North America but about 425 are in Québec. There will be no job losses in Sherbrooke and Valcourt; employees will have options including retirement packages, training, relocation or offers with BRP’s new logistics provider.”

No decision has been made at this time as to who will take over the logistical role for BRP. Here is the official release:

Valcourt, Québec, May 31, 2012 – BRP is adapting its strategy to its growth plan by reorganizing part of its operations. Starting in 2013, the company will expand its existing production capacity in Mexico by transferring engines currently being manufactured in Juárez to a new plant. The assembly of watercraft (PWC) will also be transferred from Valcourt to the new plant. In addition, BRP will assign the North American distribution of its parts, accessories and clothing (PAC) to a logistics provider.

The transfer of the PWC assembly to Mexico will enable BRP to be more competitive and it will free space on the main assembly line in Valcourt to increase the roadster production and meet the increasing demand. The transfer of engine assembly to the new plant in Mexico will allow for increased production capacity in Juárez, which will help meet the fast growing demand for allterrain and side-by-side vehicles already manufactured in that plant. By using a specialized firm to handle the North American distribution, BRP will gain greater flexibility to meet the projected growth of its PAC business and will reduce capital investment while improving customer service.

“Building a global multi-market business is an ongoing process. To remain a market leader, BRP needs to constantly challenge itself and adapt to change,” said José Boisjoli, president and
CEO. “This is not the first time that we change things at BRP; nor will it be the last. While we remain very much committed to our heritage and roots in Valcourt, we must become more
flexible to leverage our growth opportunities.” Over the next 18 to 36 months, approximately 500 employees will be affected by these decisions. These employees will be presented with options including positions within or outside BRP or retirement packages greatly minimizing the number of layoffs.

“We successfully recovered from the recession by making critical investments and difficult decisions. We collaborated with our employees to maximize efficiency. However, we still have challenges stemming from regulatory constraints in several emerging markets. As we continue to expand our global presence, we will require more manufacturing flexibility so that we can secure our presence in these countries,” concluded Boisjoli.