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Bobcat Brand Gets Tail Bobbed

September 2nd, 2009

Ten-second take on topic de jour.

It was inevitable. The series of layoffs and temporary plant closings at Bobcat manufacturing facilities here in North Dakota has finally resulted in more permanent actions. The North Dakota based premiere global brand in the skid steer market has been deeply impacted by the economic recession that has adversely affected the construction industry in general.

Folks in the Upper Great Plains are rightfully proud of the company and its flagship product – the skid steer loader. It was invented here. It has been further developed and refined to be the dominant player in its market. For many, it represents the ultimate expression of good old-fashioned American ingenuity. A farmer had a need and employed his native instincts to engineer a solution. From such humble beginnings, legends are born.

But, times have changed. Markets are global. Labor markets, too. Everyone competes on the global stage. When the economy recedes, manufacturers need to retract. Sometimes they are able to weather short-term economic woes without permanent structural changes. Sometimes not. The recent worldwide recession proved too much withstand. Even as the economy recovers, more quickly in markets other than the US, the action taken by Bobcat corporate officers has probably been in the offing for months. The business’ trajectory has to align with global markets.

Even though it is tough medicine for Bobcat to swallow, it will make the company stronger and more viable in the long run. Bobcat will survive. It is “One Tough Animal”.

NOTE: I have never worked at, or for, Bobcat, but have always admired the company, its people, and its product – the Bobcat brand.

Thoughts … On Brand

Neither deep nor finely crafted. Feel free to take exception – or not. Need help? Just ask.

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