BRP Inc. intends to invest $118 million in its Valcourt manufacturing activities within the next five years. These investments will strengthen Valcourt’s strategic role as the center of expertise for design, research, development and manufacturing for all BRP activities worldwide.
The Valcourt site has always been recognized as the heart of BRP’s innovation. It is its global knowledge center thanks to the synergy between the Design & Innovation Centre, the Product Development Centre and manufacturing operations. Ultimately, the goal of the planned investments is to maintain the competitiveness of the Valcourt plant through a complete transformation and modernization in order to optimize its manufacturing infrastructure and logistics. This modernizing process is designed to promote modularity in design, manufacturing and assembly. In addition, it will facilitate the end-to-end development of new concepts together with the design and engineering departments.
“With these investments, BRP aims to provide its Eastern Townships facilities with cutting-edge tools and technologies to further increase its efficiency and its talent in terms of innovation, engineering and manufacturing, all while keeping quality jobs in Quebec,” said BRP’s President and CEO José Boisjoli.
An overhaul of working methods
In addition to the announced investments, BRP’s Valcourt production site will review all its work methods to make them more flexible and agile, as well as the working conditions of its employees in technical and administrative sectors. A comprehensive analysis performed as part of this investment project has shown that many BRP employee groups in Quebec have a higher salary than those of competitors in North America or comparable Quebec companies outside Montréal.
Faced with this situation and wanting to maintain quality jobs in the long term, management announced a three- to five-year pay freeze for all employees working in manufacturing and in technical and administrative sectors, representing 60% of BRP staff working in Valcourt. This pay freeze will take effect from the next fiscal year, beginning on February 1, 2016.
“In recent years, globalization and the growing pressure of the competition in our markets have led us to relocate a number of our operations to Mexico. These same factors are urging us today to make an in-depth review of our methods. In order for us to have the necessary agility to remain competitive and consolidate the role of our Centre of expertise in design, research, development and manufacturing operations in Valcourt, and to ensure that our investments generate the anticipated benefits, they must be accompanied by an overhaul of our working conditions in areas where market deviations are too great,” said Boisjoli to employees gathered in a meeting today.
The implementation of this investment plan will begin in early 2016 with the installation of new ultramodern production equipment for the Can-Am Spyder and Ski-Doo assembly lines.