BRP plans $15 million renovation of Sturtevant facility

Bombardier Recreational Products Inc. (BRP) will spend more than $15 million over the next three years to renovate its Evinrude outboard engine factory in Sturtevant. The expansion will include the consolidation of the company’s facility in Waukegan, Ill., where its research and development, after-market service and call center are located.
The 130 employees that work in Waukegan will be transferred to the Sturtevant facility. Evinrude currently has about 300 employees in Sturtevant.
The Sturtevant facility is about 500,000 square feet, but only 70 percent of that space is now occupied, said Julie Johnson, an Evinrude spokesperson. The company will not need to expand its physical footprint in Sturtevant, but will be making significant machinery and systems upgrades in the project.
“This additional investment further demonstrates BRP’s commitment to the Evinrude brand,” said Jose Boisjoli, the company’s president and CEO. “One site allows BRP to bring all Evinrude-related employees under one roof to better serve its network and its customers worldwide.”
The facility in Waukegan is unsuitable for consolidation, Johnson said, because it is more than 50 years old. Additionally, the state of Wisconsin will be giving BRP incentives of about $1 million related to the consolidation here.
“This was a business decision,” Johnson said. “It makes business and financial sense to bring all of our Evinrude operations to Sturtevant. It makes more sense to have our manufacturing and administration in Sturtevant.”
The outboard market saw significant market contraction during the economic downturn – however, BRP and Evinrude believe that market conditions have started to turn.
“(The market) is starting to show some positive signs,” Johnson said. “We had a good spike in retail activity recently, and attendance has been up at boat shows. We think there is a tremendous opportunity for Evinrude down the road. This is a 100 year old brand, and BRP has made a sizeable commitment to that brand.”

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