The Milwaukee-based Briggs & Stratton Corporation announced on Monday it will move production of its Vanguard big block V-twin engines from a joint venture partnership in Japan to its existing manufacturing facility in Auburn, Ala. in 2018, ultimately creating approximately 50 new jobs for the area. The project involves a $12 million investment from the company.
“Briggs & Stratton is a valuable, longtime member of Alabama’s business community, and the company’s decision to expand its product manufacturing in Auburn is a testament to the strong partnership we have developed together over the years,” Governor Kay Ivey said of the announcement. “I’m committed to creating an ideal environment for commerce and letting the world know that Alabama is open for business.”
Briggs & Stratton worked closely with state officials in Alabama and Georgia, where the company will also expand a plant in Statesboro, to ensure a collaborative transition.
“Moving production of the Vanguard Small and Big Block V-Twin engines to the U.S. is another step in the execution of our commercial growth strategy,” states David J. Rodgers, senior vice president and president – Global Engines & Power. “We see this as a strategic competitive advantage because we can manufacture closer to our customers in the U.S., resulting in faster production times and faster shipping.”
Auburn Mayor Bill Ham congratulated the team at Briggs & Stratton for its success and gaining the new product line for the facility.
“We are truly grateful that the leadership at Briggs & Stratton continues to trust our community with their investment,” said Ham. “The contributions to our economy and the lives of our citizens cannot be overstated. From providing jobs to helping fund our annual Fourth of July fireworks display for many years running, they are an outstanding corporate member of the community.”
Briggs & Stratton, which has operated in Auburn for 22 years, is one of the city’s largest industrial employers, with 430 workers.
“I would like to extend a thank you the Alabama Department of Commerce for their overwhelming support, which has helped enable us to not only grow and compete, but also to strengthen our connection with the communities,” Rodgers added.
Greg Canfield, secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce, said the addition of the new product line at the Auburn facility reflects the high level of confidence the company has in its Alabama workforce.
“A top priority for Alabama’s economic development team is to support world-class companies like Briggs & Stratton that are looking to expand in the state, and one of the most important resources we have in that mission is Alabama’s highly skilled workforce,” Canfield said.