Fox Racing factory in Watsonville set to close; more than 200 could face layoffs
All employees who are not relocating will be terminated by March 31, 2022, according to a notice. The news comes three years after Fox Factory moved several operations from Scotts Valley and Watsonville out of state.
Fox Racing is set to lose another Santa Cruz County outpost.
Last week, Fox announced the closing of its Watsonville factory. The plant, located at 130 Hangar Way, is expected to begin layoffs on Oct. 31, according to a WARN notice. The closure affects 222 employees.
In the notice sent to local officials including Watsonville Mayor Jimmy Dutra and County Supervisor Greg Caput, all employees who are not relocating will be terminated by March 31, 2022, Dale Silvia, Fox Factory’s chief human resources officer, wrote.
“Closing down the Watsonville facility was a tough business decision and we are doing everything possible to make this transition as smooth as possible,” Vivek Bhakuni, Fox director of investor relations and business development, told Lookout via email.
Bhakuni said the Watsonville facility will remain active until its lease expires in the first quarter of 2022. The first round of layoffs will take effect on Oct. 31.
In 2018, Fox Factory announced it would be moving its headquarters from Scotts Valley to existing offices in Hall County, Georgia; a new manufacturing plant opened in Gainesville, Georgia, last year. The company also announced plans to transition its distribution, sales and service operations from Watsonville and Scotts Valley to Reno, Nevada.
The Scotts Valley facility is expected to continue serving as a corporate office. Bhakuni said if employees choose to move, Fox Factory will help with relocation to the company’s Georgia facilities or with transferring staff to existing sites in Scotts Valley and in El Cajon, in Southern California.
Fox Racing Shox manufactures high-performance shocks for a variety of vehicles including bicycles and both off-road and commercial autos. The company reported $328.2 million in second-quarter sales this year, a 79.2% increase from the same fiscal quarter in 2020.
Update: This story has been updated to reflect that Fox’s Watsonville facility will remain active until its lease expires in early 2022. The first employment terminations will take effect on Oct. 31, according to Fox representatives.