Bobcat Company announced on Sept. 2 that it is transferring all
North American machinery production to its original manufacturing facility in Gwinner, N.D. This will
result in discontinuing production at Bobcat’s Bismarck, N.D., plant by the end of 2009.
Currently, Bobcat mini excavators, the Toolcat utility work machine, the S70 skid-steer loader and mini
track loaders are made in Bismarck, while all other Bobcat skid-steer loaders, compact track loaders, and
all-wheel steer loaders are manufactured in Gwinner.
With the consolidation, all machines — including the only mini excavators made in North America —
will move to Gwinner, home of the first production three-wheeled loader (the precursor to the skid-steer
loader) in 1958.
“This was a difficult decision because Bismarck has been a vital part of the Bobcat story for more than 30
years,” said Rich Goldsbury, president of Bobcat Americas. “But, good companies adapt to change, and
this is a realignment that will best enable us to serve our dealers and customers moving forward.”
Over the next three months, 475 production positions will be phased out of Bismarck, but as many as
390 jobs will remain in North Dakota to accommodate the consolidation. Bismarck will retain 150
positions across product engineering, finance, accounts payable and aftermarket parts — areas
unaffected by the move. The Bobcat Manufacturing Support Center will also remain in Bismarck.
Bobcat began producing machines in Bismarck as Melroe Manufacturing Company in 1974 after the
company acquired Bismarck-based Kirschmann Manufacturing, maker of the Spra-Coupe crop sprayer
(AGCO acquired the Spra-Coupe line in 1998 from Ingersoll-Rand — Bobcat’s parent company at the
time). The Bismarck facility began producing mini excavators in 1989, and the Toolcat utility work
machine was launched in 2003.