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Kohler Co. closing Malvern plant | News

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Kohler Co. closing Malvern plant

MALVERN, Ark. (KTHV) --  Kohler Co. announced today that it will be consolidating its North American faucet manufacturing, which includes integrating the current Malvern, Arkansas, operations into the company's facilities in Sheridan, Arkansas, and Kohler, Wisconsin.

"It's no surprise that the prolonged housing market recession has impacted demand for kitchen and bath products, for both the new construction and remodeling markets. This has created excess capacity in Kohler Co. faucet manufacturing facilities," said Jeff Mueller, President-Global Faucets, for Kohler Co. "While the final work redistribution plan from Malvern to Sheridan is not complete, Kohler is committed to transferring as many positions as possible with the least disruption to our associates," said Mueller, adding that the company will now engage in "effects bargaining" with the United Steelworkers Union leadership at Malvern to finalize the distribution plan for production work.

The entire consolidation effort will affect approximately 80 production and administrative associates in Malvern, of whom a large majority will be offered work at the Sheridan facility. The production work transferring from Malvern to Kohler, Wisconsin, is expected to create 29 new positions there. No positions will be transferred to locations outside the U.S. or to external vendors, as a result of this consolidation effort.

The Malvern assembly operations will be transferred in approximately 60 days to Kohler's nearby faucet manufacturing plant in Sheridan, Arkansas, 25 miles away, with the stamping operations and equipment transferring there over the next six months. The machining and brazing production work from Malvern will also be redistributed in approximately 60 days to the faucet plant in Kohler, Wisconsin.

"For some time, our Malvern plant's capacity has been underutilized as a result of the prolonged housing recession and its impact on production levels," said Mueller. "Kohler Co.'s nearby plant in Sheridan and our faucet manufacturing plant in Wisconsin have the capacity to absorb this work, which will help us optimize our North America faucet manufacturing operations."

Kohler took ownership of the Malvern 120,000-square-foot production facility in 1990.

Founded in 1873 and headquartered in Kohler, Wis., Kohler Co. is one of America's oldest and largest privately held companies. Kohler is a global leader in the manufacture of kitchen and bath products, engines and power generation systems, cabinetry, tile and home interiors, and international host to award-winning hospitality and world-class golf destinations.

(Source: Kohler Co.)