In response to the prolonged downturn in the construction and building market, Uponor recently announced a plan to initiate a cost reduction program throughout North America and Europe. To structure Uponor North America for sustained profitability and growth, the company closed its Canadian manufacturing facility in Saint John, New Brunswick, effective Sept. 10, 2008.
"We've been successfully managing our company throughout the market's downturn," says Anders Tollsten, executive vice president, Uponor North America. "In order to respond to the continued economic conditions and increased transportation costs, we made the decision to consolidate our production capabilities in North America."
UNA's primary manufacturing facility is located at the company's headquarters in Apple Valley, MN. Uponor's global cost-reduction program also indicated that 200 positions were affected throughout Europe and North America. Approximately 80 employees of those 200 are impacted by the Saint John closure, and Uponor has recruit new employees for the Apple Valley manufacturing facility, which will minimize the impact on the total personnel reduction in North America.
"Our actions are part of our global initiative to ensure success in a low volume building market," Tollsten says. "Despite the difficult economic environment, we're taking advantage of opportunities and actively focusing on our strategic-growth initiatives, such as new product development, investments in our Apple Valley, Minn. manufacturing facility, new distribution center and sales and marketing objectives in the U.S. and Canada."
Tollsten adds that Uponor has positioned its organization to align with the current volume of business. "We're convinced that consolidating our production capabilities will improve our overall operational effectiveness," he says. "And by streamlining our organization, we will be able to continue to invest in our strategic growth."
Bill Gray, Uponor Ltd. general manager, Canada, says, "I'm confident the consolidation of production in Apple Valley will enhance service to our customers. As well, we recently opened our new Canadian headquarters in the greater Toronto area, and we are investing in sales and marketing resources throughout Canada. These actions demonstrate Uponor's longterm planning and commitment to better serve our Canadian customers."
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