A. O. Smith announced April 3 it will end manufacturing operations at its Fergus, Ontario, residential water heater facility.
The company expects to consolidate its residential and light commercial water heater manufacturing into its other North American facilities. A. O. Smith plans to end the majority of production in Fergus by July 1 and will transfer approximately 350 employees in manufacturing and directly related support functions.
Fergus will remain the central office of the company’s Canadian business with a total of 125 employees in sales, marketing, finance, customer service, information technology and product engineering functions. The company’s regional water heater distribution center also will remain in Fergus. A. O. Smith’s plant in Stratford, Ontario will not be affected.
“Today’s action is the result of a comprehensive study evaluating the competitiveness of our North American operations,” said Kevin J. Wheeler, president and general manager of North American water heating. “The water heater industry is extremely competitive and has been burdened with overcapacity for a number of years. In addition, we have been facing a challenging economic environment as a Canadian manufacturer.”
Affected employees will be offered severance benefits and job placement assistance.
Source: A. O. Smith