companies offer skid steers in a dedicated manner in North
America, with Bobcat holding about 40% of sales in 2013.
John Deere, Caterpillar, Case, New Holland and Manitou
together made up 55% of sales in 2013. Barnard said Wacker
Neuson isn’t concerned about joining a crowded field.
“We didn’t approach it from that perspective,” Barnard
said. “We said, ‘What do we need for our strategy to work?’
What we’re doing is making our strategy work.” The four
models, which initially will be distributed through the company’s U.S. and Canadian dealer network, will continue
the momentum of developing a solid distribution footprint
to support Wacker Neuson’s overall North American business, Barnard said.
“It’s a very important piece to a very intricate, broad
strategy of developing a distribution base in the North
Barnard said that by the latter half of 2015, sales would
be expanded to other regions of the world. Although mov-
ing the line was a significant investment according to
Barnard — the company could accommodate the new line
without breaking ground for a new facility or discontinu-
ing other production in Menomonee Falls — the company
was able to free up the 25,000 sq.ft. needed for the new
assembly line when it reorganized its existing Menomonee
Falls facility in 2012
“As a result, we had space available and we designed
the manufacturing process around the existing space,”
Barnard said. “It worked out very, very well.”
The move also freed up needed space at the Hörsching,
Austria, site. Demand for its dumpers and excavators is
growing worldwide, and the free capacity at Hörsching can
be used to expand the company’s dumper and excavator
production capabilities. Because of that, no workers will
be laid off at the Hörsching facility, which opened in 2012.
Menomonee Falls will add new employees to its salaried
and production staff because of the move.
Originally, moving production was scheduled to take 24
months, but the company was able to finish almost a full
year ahead of the original schedule, Barnard said.
“The teamwork among our factories both in Europe and
here has been exemplary,” Barnard said. “We managed
to do it in this facility on the existing footprint, which was
a challenge, but we had some great talent working on it.”
Barnard said that adding the production line also forced
Wacker Neuson to focus more closely at other processes
at the Menomonee Falls site, which was built in 1986 and
expanded four times, most recently in 2012. The facility
covers 540,000 sq.ft. and is home to the Wacker Neuson
Corp. USA headquarters and its research and develop-
ment departments. Changes linked to the production line
have helped the company improve productivity, lower cost
and improve throughput, Barnard said.
“We accepted the challenge knowing it was difficult but
we’ve done it,” Barnard said. “We loved the challenge,
Wacker Neuson was able to accommodate its new 25,000 sq.ft.
production line for skid-steer and compact-track loaders without
expanding the footprint of its Menomonee Falls, Wis., plant. The
facility opened in 1986 and has been expanded four times.
Wacker Neuson teamed with Power Test, a Sussex, Wis.-
based company, to install a custom-built dynamometer that
will test 100% of the machines that roll off the company’s
new product line in Menomonee Falls, Wis.