FOND DU LAC, Wis. (AP) — Mercury Marine plans to add a 45,000-square-foot expansion at its Fond du Lac headquarters, solidifying its presence just a few years after considering a move.
The additional space will allow the facility to house a new “state-of-the-art” electro-deposition paint coding systems that will help marine engines and drive systems operate effectively by adding anti-corrosive chemicals. The 18-month expansion project will double Mercury Marine’s capacity, company president John Pfeifer told The Reporter Media.
“It will improve overall flexibility and it will improve the work environment dramatically for our employees,” he said. “It’s going to be a win-win for everybody involved, including the community we work with to make these projects happen.”
The expansion is expected to wrap up early next year and the new system should be fully operational by the end of 2016.
Nearly all of the construction work will be contracted through Wisconsin-based businesses, according to Mercury Marine officials.
The company’s expansion in Fond du Lac is indicative of its commitment to the area, said state Sen. Rick Gudex.
Mercury Marine considered leaving Fond du Lac due to a lower demand for boats following the 2008 recession, but it agreed to stay after meeting with local and state legislators, who created incentive packages for the company.
“We’re certainly glad we have partnered back in that timeframe with Mercury Marine, and we’re certainly glad that decisions were made back then that brought us to where we are here today,” Gudex said.
The company has since invested more than $580 million in the local operation, said Pfeifer, adding that the expansion eventually will mean more jobs.
“Over time, it will certainly create new jobs as we continue to grow the company and we’re putting in new capacity, so we’ll need more people to produce more products,” he said.
Mercury Marine employs 2,800 workers in Fond du Lac and 5,000 worldwide.