Arctic Cat's engine facility in St. Cloud, Minn., is progressing, despite some setbacks with a test track location.
“The walls were up in early May, the roof was on by the end of May, and I suspect we'll be producing engines in St. Cloud around October,” Arctic Cat CEO Chris Twomey told Powersports Business.
“We've used the year that we've been building the H1 engines in Thief River Falls to fine-tune the manufacturing process, and so it'll be a very fast ramp-up.” The 56,000-square-foot facility may employ up to 150 people. He said supervisors are already being trained.
“Again, strategically, this facility lets us provide engines to the market as we see they are needed. And that's really the reason we did it. Over time, we will drive our price down to be more competitive. But we're the smallest engine manufacturer in the industry, so it's tough to say we'll be a low-cost producer. What we will be able to do is make engines for cheaper than others are willing to sell them to us for. And, we'll also be able to make the engines that we see our customers want.”
Arctic's agreement to build in St. Cloud was contingent upon receiving a site to function as a test track. However, a property originally earmarked by the city was later deemed too close to the Mississippi river.
“We wanted 30 to 40 acres to test the engines on. And, when we agreed to go to St. Cloud, they said they could make land available to us,” Twomey said. “So now we're looking at a piece of land that used to be a garbage dump that has been mounded over - which is fine for us. We'll get it done. It won't be an issue.”
Copyright 2006 Powersports Business