Kuhn shuts down French production sites

The Kuhn Group is the latest company to react to the coronavirus situation following the news that Swiss parent company Bucher Industries has temporarily closed all its French production sites.

by Steven Vale

19 Mar 2020

Due to the current development with the spread of the virus and the related directives of the French government, the decision has been taken to protect the health and safety of all Bucher Industries employees and to support the governmental efforts to reduce the transmission.

The Kuhn Group is the number one employer in the French farm machinery sector, accounting for six of Bucher Industries’ 10 sites in the country and 80%-90% of Bucher Industries’ 3,500 staff in France.

Affected Kuhn sites include two in Saverne (grass machinery and PTO driven soil cultivation), Kuhn-Huard (ploughs, non-PTO driven soil cultivation equipment and precision drills) at Châteaubriant, Kuhn-Blanchard (sprayers) at Cheméré and Kuhn-Audureau (bedding and feeding equipment and hedge cutters) at La Copechagniére.

New machine production has been temporarily halted at all sites, but critical activities such as customer support, machine and spare parts deliveries will be maintained. Managing director Siân Pritchard of Kuhn Farm Machinery UK backs the decision and says it is the right one to take to ensure the safety of all its employees.

Siân Pritchard adds that this is an important time of the year for farmers and contractors and that the company has to keep them running. “It is business as usual for now and we will do our best to get ordered new machines to customers,” she added. “We have a good stock of spare parts in the UK, the logistics side is still up and running, and we have everything in place to support our dealers.”

Resumption of the French operations is planned for April 1, 2020, and will depend on the further development of the pandemic and the respective decisions by the government.

Bucher Industries has also temporarily closing a production site in Malaysia and China. For the time being, the evolution of the virus outbreak is unclear and the effect on Bucher Industries’ business is unpredictable. A guidance for 2020 is presently not possible.