Mercury Marine To Close Tulsa MotorGuide Plant

Thursday, July 2nd 2009, 5:04 pm
By: News On 6

By Craig Day, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- There is more fallout from the economic crisis.  The new unemployment numbers are out and the jobless rate nationwide is at a 26 year high at 9.5%.  The economic downturn is taking a toll on another Tulsa employer.

It won't happen right away, but dozens of employees at a Tulsa business will soon be looking for work.

Mercury Marine announced it intends to shut down its MotorGuide facility in Tulsa.  MotorGuide makes trolling motors for boats.  The company will move its Tulsa manufacturing operation to another facility operated by Attwood Marine Products.

"We will close down the Tulsa facility and merge it with our operations in Lowell, Michigan," said Attwood Marine President Chris Drees.

The company's manufacturing plant has been in west Tulsa since 2000.  A company spokesman says the economic downturn, especially in the boating industry, is to blame for the decision to merge the facility.

"With the reduction in volume, the consolidation really becomes necessary," said Attwood Marine President Chris Drees.

The company believes with the closure, it can emerge from the economic downturn as a stronger and more profitable company.  An unspecified number of the company's 61 employees in Tulsa will be offered jobs in Michigan.  Laid off workers will be provided with help to find other jobs.

"About 50% of the people were working on production, hourly production workers, and about half were salaried professionals, both engineering and materials management type function," said Attwood Marine President Chris Drees.

No layoffs will happen within the next 60 days.  They'll begin in September, with the move expected to be finished by the end of October.  MotorGuide will retain a small engineering and research and development presence in Tulsa.