Trane to Close Residential HVAC Operation in Fort Smith, AR

Written on: February 14, 2017 by ICM

trane-logoby Sarah Campbell, Arkansas Business
Trane announced Monday that it will close its residential heating, ventilation and air conditioning manufacturing facility at 4811 S. Zero St. in Fort Smith and move its operations to four other U.S. facilities.
The company said the operation employs about 250 employees and expects to close it, in a series of phases, by the beginning of its third quarter.
The move comes after “a strategic review” of its business. In a statement, Trane said its facilities in Lynn Haven, Florida; Columbia, South Carolina; Vidalia, Georgia; and Tyler, Texas will now make residential and light commercial air conditioning products.
The company’s commercial HVAC plant, also in Fort Smith, will remain.
“By moving operations to other U.S. facilities, Trane is optimizing its manufacturing footprint, which is required to remain competitive in today’s environment,” the company said.
The move might sound familiar. In 2010, Trane cut 200 residential HVAC jobs by moving some production to Lynn Haven. At the time, the plant employed about 455 people, and the company said the move would reduce costs, “establish dual sourcing of our residential packaged product, and improve our ability to serve our East Coast customers.”
Tim Allen, president and CEO of the Fort Smith Regional Chamber of Commerce, said the community was not notified of the closure before Monday’s announcement, which he called “disheartening” and “certainly disappointing.”
“The Fort Smith Regional Chamber of Commerce is optimistic about the progress that the region has experienced in the past few years,” Allen said. “Since 2013, approximately 5,000 new jobs have been added and over 100 economic development projects have resulted in an estimated $680 million in capital investments.
“That’s why the chamber does what it does every day, and that’s economic development … There are places for these individuals to go to find employment here in this market,” he said. “I know it doesn’t feel good for them today, but the good news is there’s a place for them to go as a result of our efforts over the last several years.”
Allen said he was pleased that Trane is keeping its commercial HVAC manufacturing in Fort Smith.
“We’ll be working with them to ascertain the extent of the decision as it relates to employees and facilities,” he said.
Founded in La Crosse, Wisconsin, Trane is owned by publicly traded Ingersoll-Rand PLLC. The $13 billion company, which is domiciled in Dublin but has its operational headquarters in Davidson, North Carolina, purchased Trane in 2008. Its other companies include Ameristar, Club Car, Nexia Home Intelligence and Thermo King.
Article courtesy of Arkansas Business