Bus maker New Flyer moves Winnipeg jobs to Kentucky to meet increasing U.S. content rules

North America’s largest transit bus and motorcoach manufacturer is moving about 90 jobs from Winnipeg to Kentucky due to increasing U.S. content requirements.

New Flyer spokeswoman Lindy Norris said in an email that the jobs will be transferred to its facility in Shepherdsville, Ky., in the first half of 2019.

Norris said the U.S. government passed an act in 2015 that boosted its American parts content requirement for bus purchases that use federal funds.

That requirement jumped from 60 per cent to 65 per cent in October 2017 and will increase again to 70 per cent in October 2019.

In order to meet the 70 per cent requirement, Lindy says New Flyer has to transfer some of the high-dollar electrical components currently made in Winnipeg to the U.S.

She says the company advised the Winnipeg workforce of the decision last month.

“The decision was made after exhausting external supply chain options, but given the high dollar content of the electrical components there were no other viable alternatives,” Lindy said in the email.

“No further transfer of work out of Winnipeg is anticipated.”

NFI Group Inc., the parent of New Flyer Canada, is headquartered in Winnipeg and it says nearly 90 per cent of its revenue comes from U.S. customers.

It employs more than 2,800 people in the Winnipeg area.

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