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Wisconsin reports record exports for 2008; Janesville auto supply company to shut down, 148 jobs lost

Wisconsin reports record exports for 2008

Wisconsin’s exports increased by 11.8 percent to a record $20.6 billion in 2008.

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Wisconsin now ranks as the 18th-largest exporting state, compared with its 21st-largest ranking in 2006.

"Wisconsin companies aggressively pursued overseas markers and drove our exports to record levels despite a global economic slowdown," Gov. Jim Doyle said. "As governor, I’m committed to doing all I can to support a climate that encourages success for our exporters."

Exports to Canada, Wisconsin’s largest international market, grew by 10.2 percent to $6.5 billion in 2008. Mexico continued as Wisconsin’s second-largest export market, as exports grew 18.9 percent to $1.8 billion. China took third place with a 4.4 percent increase to $1.2 billion. Germany ranked fourth with a 19.8-percent increase to $790.4 million. Japan ranked fifth with a 10.6-percent increase to $724.4 million.  Industrial machinery, including computer equipment, continues to be Wisconsin’s top manufacturing export commodity, growing by 11.1 percent to $6.9 billion. Electrical machinery ranked second with a 3.8-percent increase to $2.4 billion. Medical and scientific instruments ranked third with a 1.7-percent increase to $2.1 billion. Transportation equipment ranked fourth with 14.3 percent increase to $2.0 billion. Paper and paperboard took fifth place with a 0.5-percent decrease to $793.5 million.

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Companies interested in planning or implementing an export venture can obtain more information by contacting Mary Regel at the Wisconsin Department of Commerce at (608) 267-9661 or mary.regel@wisconsin.gov.

Janesville auto supply company to shut down, 148 jobs lost

Bourns Inc. will close its Bourns Automotive Division in Janesville, where it makes sensor components, in the next 12 to 18 months. All of the company’s 148 employees will lose their jobs.

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The Janesville production will shift to Mexico and Hungary. Its engineering and R&D functions will shift to a Michigan facility.

"We are facing the reality that our customers expect us to provide the highest quality products at ever lower prices," said Jeff Pyle, vice president and general manager of the automotive division. "Bourns” automotive business has excess costs and manufacturing space which need to be addressed. While we are confident that the automotive industry will prosper over the long term, we must restructure our automotive business now to reflect current realities."

Bourns acquired the Janesville facility in 2006 as part of its purchase of the automotive business of SSI Technologies.


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