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Textron Shifts Production to TRF & St. Cloud, Closes Mpls HQ


Arctic Cat manufacturing plant in Thief River Falls, Minn.

Yesterday, Textron Industries announced a few big changes that will make an impact on Arctic Cat.

The biggest news is that production of the Textron Stampede side-by-side (bottom of page) will move to Thief River Falls, Minn. (above). Up to this point, Stampede models had been produced in Augusta, Ga.

Textron 850 4-stroke engine

Similarly, manufacturing of the Textron engine (above) that powers Stampede models will soon transition from Berlin, Germany to Arctic Cat’s engine facility in St. Cloud, Minn.

That’s all great news for Arctic Cat employees. A handful of Textron employees in Augusta are affected by the change (presumably some Weber employees might also be affected), although most employees there are being reassigned to other projects. 

Brandon Haddock, Communications Director of Textron Specialized Vehicles, said that moving production to TRF and St. Cloud allows the company to leverage logistical efficiencies. The move likely won’t result in increased hiring in TRF or St. Cloud, but it should increase the length and stability of seasonal production.

Textron also announced that it will close the Arctic Cat headquarters office in Minneapolis by the end of this year. There are currently about 62 employees who work at HQ. Many are expected to move to the St. Cloud facility, and there might also be some who move to TRF.

I’m pumped to know that TRF and St. Cloud will see expanded production, as this means good things for the employees there. Conversely, I know that the closure of the Minneapolis HQ could be a challenge for some employees. I do understand the logic of the decision however, as the office (which opened less than one year ago) undoubtedly places a financial pressure on the company.

Textron Stampede side-by-side

Comments (19):

mopars&cats says:
5/10/2017 2:35:00 PM

Sounds good so far!! Hopefully they keep the name Arctic Cat on the products. I know they probably won't, that would be too good to be true. However, I think they need something better than the name Textron on the side.....
JimR says:
5/10/2017 3:59:00 PM

As far as the name change on the dirt side, they are being built at Cat so they are deep down inside always cat. I have a 2002 500 and I absolutely love it. Has been super reliable. My brother just bought a 2015 XR550 and it is a thing of beauty! Probably be my next atv unless I go Wildcat trail. New sled on the way to go with my 15 that my better half is going to get and she is from a Polaris family. (Ouch on her part). Good times ahead.
Kevin Koehler says:
5/10/2017 8:46:00 PM

John, do you know when that picture was taken of the plant up there?
TexCat says:
5/11/2017 7:20:00 AM

That's good to here about the motor. means it will be cheaper for then tom build without having to pay duties to bring them over the boarder. guess we can thank Trump on that one. haha
Ken says:
5/11/2017 7:44:00 AM

VERY EXITED! Finally some good news! Still upset about taking Arctic Cat away from the dirt products but at least we have the Arctic Cat employees making the machines. That's what I was hoping and wishing for. Also hope they leave the big Arctic Cat sign up at TRF and St. Cloud.

Never understood why Arctic Cat spent so much money on the headquarters in Minneapolis anyway. Now lets take that money and open up more dealers like County Cat. I know one step at a time.
Ken says:
5/11/2017 7:50:00 AM

So excited that I could not even spell it right. Excited not exited.
John Sandberg says:
5/11/2017 8:54:00 AM

Kevin: Aerial shot of TRF taken in July of 2015. Cannot confirm if it was taken from spy drone, spy satellite or Spy vs. Spy.
Bulldog says:
5/11/2017 9:33:00 AM

I sure hope Textron Offroad uses some styling ques from Cat because I don't like the look of the Stampede at all. I think it's mostly the front grill / headlight area that doesn't do it for me. It needs bigger headlights or something to give it some snarl!
gbarchives 67-72. says:
5/11/2017 3:22:00 PM

Gaining stuff to make. Adding products. Sounds good to me!
Tom says:
5/11/2017 7:40:00 PM

Not just a rumor , Lockheed Martin is making a play on TEXTRON.
Tom says:
5/11/2017 8:13:00 PM

Also herd on the street:) Trump is going to build a golf course in the DMZ and needs ATV's that look like golf carts with military capabilities ??
So-- why is Lockheed trying to buy Textron ??
Ccmaster says:
5/11/2017 9:07:00 PM

Lockheed beat out Textron on the purchase of Sikorski from United Technologies Corp. They paid a little over 7 billion. Since Textron owns Bell they may be looking to purchase them for that reason. It makes you wonder with the things they have done purchase Arctic shut down a plant in GA etc. all things to make them look more attractive to a purchaser. Sort of like why did Arctic spend all that money on the new office area in Minneapolis? Well the meetings that were held there made it look much more attractive than meeting in TRF yes it cost a lot but it made the sale right. Textron is doing the same things HMM it makes you wonder? What the future holds?
I Bleed Green! says:
5/12/2017 8:54:00 AM

This is great news..... keep our local people busy... I don't care what name is on the machine, as long as the same people who have such a passion for these machines, designed it, built it, and put there heart and soul into them, remain employed. This is good news as far as i am concerned. Adding the weber engine to the product line is a giant step in the right direction. There is nothing wrong with yamaha engines, but keeping it in-house is better yet.
catman54 says:
5/12/2017 11:23:00 AM

Does anyone know how the Weber snow engines compare to Yamaha? Like the Textron MPE-850-SNO? Is Cat going to start using the Weber engines in the snowmobiles too? Polaris used the Weber MPE 750 HO their 4 stroke for a few years. So we may have a Pol-Cat coming to go along with the Yama-Cat.
Steveo says:
5/14/2017 11:43:00 AM

The reason for the headquarters in mlps is to drain the pocket book and make AC have a empty wallet ready for a take over. Metz spend money like a Hollywood house wife and AC got F@$&?!. This is what happens when u hire someone that knows nothing about you company and doesn't care just lookin to fatten his own wallet.
catman says:
5/16/2017 2:17:00 PM

I have mixed feelings about getting rid of the Mnpls headquarters. The point of it was to make the sale and you are more likely to hire people for those positions there since its located in Mnpls vs st cloud or TRF. And Metz, mehh - he wasn't in it for the long haul. And quite frankly the AC Board needed to be smarter to see through that. I do not know what the future holds. I don't think anyone can say with any certainty. It looks bright and dim at that same time.
Captain says:
5/17/2017 2:58:00 PM

I thought the engine was moving to St Cloud to be produced not TRF? Is that a typo John?
Fred says:
5/20/2017 1:10:00 AM

Metz did all the right things to turn around AC, but AC had already slipped too far behind under the leadership of the previous CEO.
DJPipeman says:
5/28/2017 2:27:00 PM

I've admired AC since I was a young boy riding Jac-trac 20 hp machines. Now married and into my early 50's, my snow/cold hating wife and I have decided to get into dirt and bought a '17 Alterra and a '17 Wildcat Trail. With our classes completed we are ready to hit the trail(s). I plan to use the Alterra more for hunting so finding riding trails to use it isn't as important as finding trails for the WildCat. I have been unable to find an AC app similar to that of those other guys (Polaris) where the app show trails, status/conditions, and weather conditions. I also snooped around Textron website and found nothing. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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