APPLE VALLEY, Minn. - In response to the prolonged downturn in the construction and building market, Uponor has announced a plan initiating a cost reduction program throughout North America and Europe. The company said that, in order to structure Uponor North America for sustained profitability and growth, it would close its Canadian manufacturing facility in Saint John, New Brunswick.

“We’ve been successfully managing our company throughout the market’s downturn,” said Anders Tollsten, executive vice president, Uponor North America. “In order to respond to the continued economic conditions and increased transportation costs, we made the decision to consolidate our production capabilities in North America.”

The company’s primary manufacturing facility is located at its headquarters in Apple Valley, Minn.

Uponor indicated its global cost-reduction program would affect 200 positions in Europe and North America. Approximately 80 of those 200 employees are impacted by the Saint John closure, and Uponor said it is working with those affected by offering outplacement services and severance packages. The company is also recruiting employees for the Apple Valley manufacturing facility to minimize the impact on the total personnel reduction in North America.

“Our actions are part of our global initiative to ensure success in a low-volume building market,” Tollsten said. “Despite the difficult economic environment, we are taking advantage of opportunities and actively focusing on our strategic-growth initiatives, such as new product development, investments in our Apple Valley, Minn., manufacturing facility, new distribution center, and sales and marketing objectives in the U.S. and Canada.”

Tollsten added that Uponor has positioned its organization to align with the current volume of business. “We’re convinced that consolidating our production capabilities will improve our overall operational effectiveness,” he said. “And by streamlining our organization, we will be able to continue to invest in our strategic growth.”

Bill Gray, Uponor Ltd. general manager, Canada, said, “I’m confident the consolidation of production in Apple Valley will enhance service to our customers. As well, we recently opened our new Canadian headquarters in the greater Toronto area, and we are investing in sales and marketing resources throughout Canada. These actions demonstrate Uponor’s long-term planning and commitment to better serve our Canadian customers.”

Uponor is a leading supplier of PEX-a plumbing, fire safety, and radiant heating and cooling systems for the residential and commercial building markets. For more information, visit

Publication date:09/22/2008