John Deere has broken ground on an expansion of their Horicon, WI manufacturing facility to increase their production capacity for Gator utility vehicles. The 388,000 square foot addition will allow the company to move Gator production in-house from a contract facility, which will improve manufacturing efficiency and facilitate more vehicle customization. John Deere is investing $42.9 million in the expansion and receiving $2 million in tax credits from the state of Wisconsin. The Horicon plant currently employs 1,100 people and will add 80 more when the expansion is finished at the end of the 2016 or beginning of the 2017. Learn more: JSOnline.com
Comment: Earlier this year Kubota also moved ahead on an expansion of their utility vehicle manufacturing facilities in the US. Both Kubota and John Deere compete in the farming market segment and other markets for work utility vehicles. These investments indicate that the UTV market is growing and that major manufacturers expect it to continue going forward. The John Deere expansion may be an indication that increased vehicle customization is a trend moving forward.