IN THE NEWS: Oshkosh Fire & Emergency Sales Decrease

Oshkosh Corporation, a manufacturer of specialty vehicles and vehicle bodies, reported fiscal 2011 first quarter net sales of $1.70 billion, a significant drop compared with net sales of $2.43 billion in the prior year’s first quarter.

The company’s Fire & Emergency segment reported sales for the first quarter of fiscal 2011 decreased 10.5 percent to $201.5 million from the comparable period last year. The decrease, according to Oshkosh, primarily reflected lower shipments of firefighting apparatus due to soft domestic demand attributable to weak municipal spending in the United States.

In October 2010 and January 2011, the company began to close Oshkosh Specialty Vehicles and Medtec Ambulance facilities and consolidate the businesses into existing facilities in Florida. Oshkosh said it also implemented workforce reductions in other businesses in the Fire & Emergency segment, which includes Pierce Manufacturing.

“Demand remained soft in our Fire & Emergency and Commercial segments,” said Charles L. Szews, Oshkosh president and chief executive officer. “Until municipal spending and housing starts recover, results for these segments will be challenged. We have taken additional actions in these businesses to reduce our cost structure in anticipation of a slow recovery.”

He said the company’s focus in fiscal 2011 is to position Oshkosh to return to a period of growth in fiscal 2012. “We are optimizing our manufacturing footprint and overhead structure to be more competitive,” he said, “and are working on launches of new products that we expect to introduce beginning in our second fiscal quarter.”

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