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Stowmarket: Jobs at risk but commitment to factory remains

PUBLISHED: 10:15 31 July 2014

The media showcase at the Bosch Lawn & Garden factory in Stowmarket.

The media showcase at the Bosch Lawn & Garden factory in Stowmarket.

Archant

Changes underway at Bosch garden machinery

About 20 jobs are at risk at Bosch’s garden machinery factory in Stowmarket as part of a business restructuring, the firm has announced.

But while some cheap-end product manufacturing is moving abroad to enable the company to match its competitors on price, the firm has stressed that the Stowmarket manufacturing plant, which employs 390 staff, remains “the heart and soul” of its garden machinery business.

The Stowmarket site will be producing Bosch’s next generation of hi-tech, high value, British-made garden machinery products, one of which has already been launched this year, and the other of which is due to come off the production line over the next few months.

Bosch Stowmarket has already introduced the Indego range of robotic lawnmowers and is set to begin production soon of a new range of professional lawn and garden tools.

The site is the centre of Bosch’s garden machinery operations, with tools designed, developed and manufactured on site, and the company says it is “committed” to securing its long-term profitability, sustainability and future.

The factory makes to order, taking on additional temporary seasonal staff during peak periods.

The company, which is based near Stuttgart in Germany, is 92% owned by a charitable foundation and is an Eastern Daily Press/East Anglian Daily Times Top 100 firm. It announced in August last year that changes in production could result in a reduction in employee numbers at its Lawn and Garden operations in Stowmarket.

“Bosch is fully complying with consultative and legal requirements,” it said.

Andreas Andorfer, managing director of Bosch Lawn & Garden said: “It is obviously very disappointing and a difficult decision for us to make this announcement today.

“Sales for lawn and garden products in total are growing, however overall competitiveness still needs to be improved.

“In line with our global sourcing and production strategy, the high volume value-orientated products are manufactured in the same regions as our competitors to be competitive on cost.

“We are developing new, high end product ranges to enable us to continue to manufacture lawn and garden products in the UK, here at Stowmarket, which is the ‘heart and soul’ of our business.”

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