Tramontina U.S. Cookware, a subsidiary company of Tramontina USA, has closed its facility in Manitowoc, WI, effective July 8, 2019.
“This is an extremely difficult announcement,” Marcello Borges, president, Tramontina, said in a written statement. “Due to the production cost increases over several years, our shareholders decided to cease manufacturing operations at our U.S. facility as a strategic step towards consolidating our production within the group’s existing factories in Brazil, which allows us to focus more on product development, sales and logistics in the U.S.”
While Tramontina has made substantial equipment and facility investments at the Manitowoc factory to provide greater efficiencies, the company explained it has also absorbed numerous cost increases over the last several years, including but not limited to increases in raw materials, labor and freight expenses. There also has been cost increases from higher tariffs assessed on components used in making cookware, such as glass lids, chrome plated handles, aluminum and steel studs, rivets and screws. Over time, these cost increases caused the company’s U.S. made items to be less competitive in the housewares market, the company noted.
The company opened the Wisconsin plant in 2005 and in 2015 acquired a 256,000-square-foot building adjacent to the plant to allow for expansion. The expansion was completed in August 2017. The building is now up for sale.
Tramontina’s Texas-based plant is also scheduled to see changes in employment, eliminating approximately 100 jobs from the Sugar Land facility. The company will be focusing on its manufacturing efforts in Brazil, where The Tramontina Group is headquartered.