Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Oshkosh Corp. says local production continues as it suspends access equipment work in Pennsylvania

Oshkosh Corp. photo

One of the company's Joint Light Tactical Vehicles moves down the assembly line at a local factory.
This article has been updated with comment from the company.
By Miles Maguire
Oshkosh Corp. said Monday it is suspending production of access equipment in its Pennsylvania plants but is continuing work in its Wisconsin factories, which serve the defense and fire/emergency sectors.

“We continue to use CDC recommended safety procedures across the company and production continues in those segments at this time,” said Wilson R. Jones, Oshkosh’s president and CEO.

This situation could change, however. “Production at any of the company’s facilities may be further impacted as a result of possible government, market or company actions due to COVID-19,” Oshkosh said in a prepared statement.

"Per Gov. Evers’ mandate of 'Safer at Home,' Oshkosh Corp. and its businesses in Wisconsin are considered 'essential critical infrastructure' with designing and manufacturing essential equipment that supports critical business operations and helps ensure the safety and health of citizens and the economies where we do business," a company spokesperson said in an email.

"If our equipment or manufacturing expertise is called upon beyond our current products, we will do everything possible to help meet those critical needs," she added.

The current uncertainty has prompted Oshkosh to withdraw the estimates about its financial performance that it has previously provided to investors. “As a result of the evolving impact of COVID-19 on the economy, the company believes its financial results will be impacted, but the magnitude and timing of the impact is uncertain,” Oshkosh said.

Oshkosh Defense has four facilities locally. The company’s fire and emergency business has factories in Appleton, Neenah and Kewaunee as well as two in Florida.

Oshkosh says it employs a total of about 15,000. More than 3,700 work in Oshkosh, the company said. Statewide its employment is more than 6,500.

The company’s other major line is its commercial business, which has plants in Minnesota, Iowa and Nebraska. Jones said production in this sector is also continuing.

Regarding access equipment, Jones said “customers are modifying their delivery requirements.” The company is also considering the possibility of declining demand and disruptions in its supply chain.

“We have decided to suspend access equipment production in North America on March 30 with current plans to resume production on April 13,” Jones said. “JLG and Jerr-Dan team members will continue to support their customers with aftermarket parts and service as essential field operations remain open.” 

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