On Tuesday, March 16, 2010, The Burton Corporation announced that it would close it's Vermont-based snowboard manufacturing facility (BMC), shifting production of its higher-end snowboards to it's factory in Austria.
While most of Burton's snowboards are currently produced in China, Burton has built some of its higher-end boards in Austria for the past 25 years.
According to a release issued by the company, all product design and development will still take place in Vermont, where Founder and Board Chairman Jake Burton Carpenter founded the company.
"When I started Burton Snowboards in 1977, all we did was make snowboards in Vermont,” Burton Carpenter said in the release. “But simply put, it costs us significantly more to produce a board in Vermont than we are capable of selling it for, and sadly, this is not sustainable in the current economy.”
Burton's manufacturing center is located in South Burlington, Vermont, and is scheduled to close in June 2010. According to Burton, 43 employees will lose their jobs as a result of the closure.
According to Burton CEO Laurent Potdevin. “It makes the most economic sense to produce all of our high-end snowboards in Austria. Here in Vermont, we will continue to focus on advanced product development, which will allow us to bring the latest snowboard technology to riders faster than ever before.”
The move follows Burton's Feb. 11 announcement that it would reinstate salaries and merit increases for some employees, while at the same time cutting "less than 2% of its global employee base" (a total of 17 employees according to this article in Transworld Business), citing a better outlook for the snowboarding industry going forward.
Burton is the world’s largest snowboard company and owns other brands, including Channel Islands Surfboards, DNA Distribution (Alien Workshop and Habitat Skateboards), The Program (Forum, Special Blend and FOURSQUARE), Analog, Gravis, ANON and R.E.D.