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BRP cuts 650 jobs, exits outboard motor business hit hard by COVID-19

Wisconsin plant will be changed over to accommodate new, not specified projects.

May 28, 2020   by CP STAFF

MONTREAL — BRP Inc. says it will cut 650 jobs or about 5% of its global workforce as the recreational product maker stops producing outboard motors that have been “hard hit” by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The manufacturer of Ski-Doo, Sea-Doo and Can-Ams made the announcement on May 27 after markets closed and on the eve of its first-quarter results and annual meeting.

Chief executive Jose Boisjoli said in a news release that it will immediately stop production of the Evinrude E-TEC and E-TEC G2 outboard motors that will primarily affect its US workforce.

The Valcourt, Que.-based company announced measures in March, including temporary and targeted layoffs, lower spending, a hiring freeze and salary cuts for executives and office workers, due to the turmoil caused by the novel coronavirus.

BRP says it will continue to build on its strategy that resulted in the creation of the marine group and which led to the acquisition of the boat manufacturers Alumacraft and Manitou in the United States, as well as the acquisition of Australian company Telwater last year.

The BRP plant in Wisconsin will be reconverted to accommodate “new projects” that have not been specified by the company.

In addition, all activities surrounding the Alumacraft brand will be consolidated in one location, in St. Peter, Minn., that will result in the closure of a site in Arkansas.

 


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