Lexington COO Loren Thompson was quoted in PBS Wisconsin’s segment on Oshkosh’s new contract outside of Wisconsin, which could potentially drive a large number of jobs and billions of dollars away form the state. Early last year, Oshkosh secured a multi-billion dollar federal contract to build 165,000 postal trucks, but later announced that it would manufacture the vehicles out of state. The contract would have brought about one thousand assembly line jobs to Wisconsin.
It is possible that the decision was motivated by high operating costs and economic difficulties in Oshkosh’s home state. Indeed, the trucks are being manufactured in South Carolina, where it is cheaper to do so. Thompson said that during the recession, “Oshkosh (Defense) had a near-death experience.” He added that “more than anything else, what saved it was a series of contracts for the U.S. Army in order to build highly armored vehicles that could survive improvised explosive devices in Iraq and Afghanistan.”
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