Outdoor Power Equipment

July 2017

Proudly serving the industry for which it was named for more than 50 years, Outdoor Power Equipment provides dealers who sell and service outdoor power equipment with valuable information to succeed in a competitive market.

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6 JULY 2017 OUTDOOR POWER EQUIPMENT www.outdoorpowerequipment.com Encouraging signs Starting with my May 18 trip to Grand Rapids, Mich., to witness the grand reopening of the headquarters of Kawasaki Engines, I'm highly encouraged by the noticeable spike in investment in this industry. I don't want to steal my own thunder by going into too much detail here about the newly renovated digs for Kawasaki Engines (see my story on pages 12-13), but the highlight is a new state-of-the-art research and development lab. Shortly upon my return from that trip, I learned that another major small-engine manufacturer, Briggs & Stratton Corporation, recently opened its own state-of-the-art lab — the Noise, Vibration and Harshness (NVH) lab (see the story on pages 14-15). American LandMaster, a Fort Wayne, Ind.-headquartered manufacturer, designer and distributor of off-road utility vehicles, recently announced plans to invest more than $4 million to lease and equip a new facility in the Hoosier state that will result in the creation of up to 67 new jobs by 2020 (see story on page 15). On June 8, Walbro LLC celebrated the opening of a new aluminum die casting facility in Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony (see story on page 50). The new facility, which is co-located with Walbro's Engine Management plant in Los Mochis, will share management, supply chain and administrative services with the existing plant. Initially, the plant will manufacture flywheels for small engines in the first two installed die casting centers, but plans are already in place to add six additional die casting machines due to strong customer interest. The facility will employ 60-70 additional workers at full capacity. And similar positive news continued to pour in at a rapid rate this month, with me running out of both time and space to include it in the "Industry News" section, so I'll touch on some more of it here. Ariens Company recently celebrated the grand opening of its new concept store, Brillion Power Equipment, with an official ribbon-cutting ceremony. As you may recall reading about in April 2017 OPE, Ariens Company announced in February the purchase of a vacant building across the street from its headquarters in Brillion, Wis., and converted it into a fully operational concept store. The store will be independently operated by Mike Buboltz, an Ariens and Gravely dealer who owns Hardware Plus in downtown Brillion, and it will serve many purposes. "The store will be used to demonstrate best-in-class dealership practices, test merchandising concepts that might be offered to our network of dealers, and learn more about overall customer experience," said Dan Ariens, chairman and CEO of the Ariens Company. On June 2, Doosan Bobcat North America announced the completion of an impressive $9.5-million expansion of its company headquarters in West Fargo, N.D. The expansion doubles the square footage and employee capacity of the original building, which was built in 2000. "Doosan Bobcat is a growing company that continues to make investments in its people," said Rich Goldsbury, president of Doosan Bobcat North America. "Creating an innovative environment helps us attract and retain team members who are focused on bringing new ideas and solutions to the marketplace faster." As you can see, a lot of ribbon cutting is taking place in the industry, which is encouraging news for all of us. UPFRONT Editor Steve Noe | snoe@epgmediallc.com OPE STAFF Group Publisher David Voll Associate Publisher John Kmitta Editor Steve Noe Art Director Andrea Schneider Production Manager Angela Scott DIRECT MAIL LIST SALES MeritDirect, Jim Scova, (914) 368-1012; e-mail jscova@MeritDirect.com REPRINT SERVICE Robin Cooper, email rcooper@epgmediallc.com EDITORIAL ADVISORY BOARD Founder and Owner OPE Consulting Services Jeff Sheets Senior Advisor Servantage Dixie Sales (retired) Jim Starmer Director of Sales and Marketing Central Power Distributors, Inc. John D. Hedges EDITORIAL OFFICES EPG Media & Specialty Information 10405 6th Ave. N., Suite 210 Minneapolis, MN 55441 Phone: (763) 383-4407 ACCOUNT REPRESENTATIVES: EAST Chris Pelikan Senior Account Manager Phone: (763) 383-4408 cpelikan@epgmediallc.com MIDWEST Peggy Tupper Senior Account Manager Phone: (763) 383-4429 ptupper@epgmediallc.com WEST Leslie Palmer Senior Account Manager Phone: (763) 383-4460 lpalmer@epgmediallc.com CIRCULATION For subscription inquiries and customer service questions, please call (847) 513-6025 or fax (763) 383-4497 customerservice@epgmediallc.com business hours: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. EST Publisher's Notice: We assume no respon- sibility for the validity of advertising claims in connection with items appearing in Outdoor Power Equipment. Commercial product names are used for the convenience of the reader. Mention of a commercial product does not imply endorse- ment by Outdoor Power Equipment or EPG Media & Specialty Information, or preference over similar products not mentioned. OPE

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