Manitou toasts Madison facility expansion, 50th anniversary
02 October 2023
Company execs celebrate with ribbon cutting at 80,000-sq.-ft. project in South Dakota
Manitou Group not only is celebrating its 50th anniversary of manufacturing skid loaders this year, but the provider of handling, aerial work platform and earthmoving solutions is also commemorating the grand opening of the 80,000-sq.-ft. expansion project at its facility in Madison, S.D.
The ribbon-cutting ceremony featured Jacqueline Himsworth, chair of the company’s board, and Michel Denis, president and CEO, as well as state and local representatives such as South Dakota State Senator Casey Crabtree and Madison Mayor Roy Lindsay.
“It is a very exciting time for Manitou Group as we celebrate the official opening of our new assembly building,” said Jeff Minnaert, plant manager at the Madison facility. “While this is not the end of the project, it is the largest portion that will give us the biggest impact on increasing our production to meet our future demands. In addition to the building, we are implementing a number of improvements that will continue to enhance our work environment and help Manitou Group be the employer of choice in Madison.”
The expansion project has renovated and extended the existing 325,000-sq.-ft. building, which itself is 50 years old, and the facility’s new square footage will house an enlarged assembly line.
The area now has space for 19 workstations, up 30% from the previous set-up, and the space incorporates kitting and other lean concepts to optimize employee efficiency.
Construction crews also repurposed one of the facility’s former assembly buildings into a new shipping center, which will handle shipments more effectively for the anticipated increase in production, Manitou said.
“This is the largest expansion project we have completed in the 50-year history in Madison,” Minnaert said. “It has been a lot of work for all of the employees, and I am proud of all that we have accomplished and continue to be a part as the Madison team.”
According to Franck Buisard, vice president of the Product Unit Compact and Articulated Loaders and managing director for Manitou Equipment America, the new assembly line will produce the company’s new skid and track loader range, which debuted at ConExpo in March.
“It was a clear challenge for the team to be ready on time, and I’m proud of all the work they accomplished,” Buisard said. “We will now work on increasing the output of our production lines by more than 150% by 2026.”
A year and a half ago, Manitou announced its major investment in its South Dakota facilities; with the Madison renovation open, the company’s next step will be the go-live of its Yankton, S.D., facility expansion in mid-2024.