BY KARISSA MILLER
Bobcat Co., a global leader in the compact equipment industry, marked the completion of its new $70 million manufacturing facility expansion in Statesville on Wednesday with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
The 600,000-square-foot expansion increased the footprint to more than 1 million square feet on the 150-acre campus, making it one of the company’s largest sites.
“This is a significant day for Bobcat, the Statesville community and our customers as we grow our presence in North Carolina and expand our manufacturing capabilities in the U.S.,” said Mike Ballweber, president of Doosan Bobcat North America. “This investment will not only position us to meet growing customer demand, but it also adds significant job opportunities to benefit the community.”
The expansion will create up to 250 new jobs over the next five years. Since the start of 2022, more than one-third of the new positions have been already filled, increasing the company’s local workforce to nearly 600 employees.
The new facility enables the Statesville operation to also serve as a key manufacturing hub to help meet a growing demand for Bobcat products by increasing production capabilities and efficiency.
Construction began in July 2021 and took roughly 14 months. The design team included Shultz + Associates Architects. Omega Construction served as the construction manager.
Local government leaders were on hand to help celebrate the milestone.
“As one of our community’s largest manufacturing companies — we are proud of the commitment Bobcat Company has made not only in its facility growth and job creation, but also in its commitment to economic impact, charitable giving, educational support and community involvement,” Statesville Mayor Costi Kutteh said.
“Bobcat is an inspiration and catalyst to each of us as Statesville continues to grow and flourish,” he added.
Iredell County Board of Commissioners Chairman James Mallory called the company a visionary leader with a “trained workforce that is efficient and works as a team and is focused on the core mission” of the company.
“What excites me about this partnership with Doosan, is their investment, not just in this facility, but in our people,” he said.
The company has a five-year plan that includes expand their workforce at the facility to as many as 1,000 employees.
“It’s an investment that doesn’t pay off today, but it’s an investment in the future,” Mallory added.
The expansion adds space for manufacturing and warehousing; research and development; an automated paint line; parts control and storage; shipping and receiving docks; open air space for product testing and quality control; additional parking; shipping and delivery entrance; and finished goods inventory storage.
The manufacturing space also includes new state-of-the-art technology to improve production efficiencies and streamline operations across Bobcat’s North American locations.
New factory technology and systems are consistent across the company’s North American facilities, improving process and design collaboration, as well as simplifying transfer of information.
“It has been exciting to see these additions and enhancements to our facility take shape, and we greatly appreciate the support of our employees, partners, officials and the community during this process,” said Doosan Bobcat Portable Power Global Vice President Lance Mathern. “We are ready for the future and look forward to the benefits this expansion brings.”
Made in Statesville
Production of the Bobcat mini track loader (MTL) will shift from the Bismarck, N.D., facility to Statesville by late 2022, Mathern said.
The new MTL production lines are designed to produce 35 units per shift, which will mean a new Bobcat MT100, which retails for nearly $40,000, will finish production every 10.8 minutes.
Additionally, the Bobcat compact tractor line has been assembled in Statesville since its launch in 2019, and will continue to be assembled in this facility. The Statesville location also produces generators, light towers and air compressors.
“Our growth is rooted in our legacy as the inventor of the compact equipment industry and fueled by our drive to continue redefining the industry through groundbreaking innovation and a focus on customer experience,” Ballweber said.
For more information on Bobcat, visit bobcat.com and for careers visit bobcat.com/careers.