Husqvarna has lumberjacks around the world shouting "Timber!" A leading manufacturer of outdoor power tools, the company makes chainsaws, push and riding lawn mowers, leaf blowers, trimmers, and garden tools for consumers, as well as heavy-duty chainsaws and stone-cutting machines for professionals. Marketing its products under the Husqvarna, Gardena, McCulloch, Diamant Boart, WeedEater, and other regional brand names, the company distributes to more than 100 countries and sells through US retailers Wal-Mart, Sears, and Lowe's; European retailers B&Q and Leroy Merlin; and independent dealers. Founded in Sweden in 1689 as a weapon maker, Husqvarna now operates about 20 manufacturing plants worldwide.
For fiscal 2010 sales dipped slightly on weaker demand and the loss of a major contract in the Americas despite improvements in European and Asian markets and in the construction segment. Prior year restructuring and layoffs, as well as consolidating plants and locating them in cheaper labor markets, paid off in 2010 with higher margins and increased net income. But cash flow took a hit due to exchange rates.
Husqvarna has been opening new factories in Poland and China, where wages are lower, and relocating the production of chainsaws and other handheld products to the new plants. (As a result, factories and offices in Sweden and the US were closed or consolidation.) The company's new facilities follow some 1,200 job cuts in the US and Sweden as a result of a companywide restructuring effort aimed at eliminating overlap and duplication throughout the organization.
In addition to manufacturing brand-name products, the company is also a manufacturer of products that are sold under private labels by retailers. One of the company's US-based manufacturers, American Yard Products, makes the Craftsman line of outdoor power products for Sears. (Husqvarna's US division has been the main supplier for the Craftsman brand since the 1980s).
The company has, in recent years, been focusing its development and marketing efforts on producing environmentally friendly products. Some of its current products include a fuel-efficient chainsaw and a line of solar-powered robotic lawnmowers (think Roomba for the lawn).
The company has manufactured a variety of goods over the course of its long history, including weapons in its early years and sewing machines, bicycles, kitchen equipment, and motorcycles in later years. – less
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