In an attempt to further streamline operations of its turf division, Jacobsen will move all manufacturing of its turfcare products to its facility in the United Kingdom.
The Ransomes/Jacobsen manufacturing center in Ipswich offers more flexibility and will lead to increased manufacturing efficiency, said Simon Rainger, vice president for turf operations for Jacobsen Specialized Vehicles since January.
This move will allow Jacobsen to focus its investments, skill and improvements in mower production on a single facility, and leverage existing resources and expertise at its Ipswich facility. The plant, which currently builds Jacobsen and Ransomes mowers, has been in operation for 187 years and is the oldest manufacturer of motorized lawn mowers in the world.
"This is nothing new," Rainger said in a news conference, adding that manufacturing of some of Jacobsen's turf care products has been occurring in Ipswich for about 20 years, including as much as 50 percent in recent years.
The company's facility in Augusta, Georgia had been home to Jacobsen's North American manufacturing operations since 2017.
"As a consequence," said Rainger, shown at right, "we want Ipswich to be a center of excellence of manufacturing that it has built over 200 years of history."
The move, while promoting increased efficiency will also help Jacobsen focus on customer service, which has plagued Jacobsen for years. Neither does the move represent a shift away from the U.S. market, Rainger said.
"North America is still our most important business sector," he said.
The changes to Jacobsen's operations were due at least in part to economic stresses that have resulted from the pandemic.
"The business can't look the same coming out of Covid as it did going in," Rainger said. "We looked at what we did well and what we can improve upon. We looked at what we do habitually, and does that make sense moving forward."
Jacobsen had moved its North American manufacturing operations to Augusta three years ago after 16 years in Charlotte.
"It's no secret," he said, "that Jacobsen has gone through various changes for the last few years, like the relocation from Charlotte, that were not received too well."