Belden: Mohawk brand lives on

August 3, 2009--While cable and component maker Belden (www.belden.com) has informed about 170 workers at its Mohawk cable manufacturing facilities in Leominster, MA that it will cease operations there effective next July as part of a corporate restructuring plan, the Mohawk cabling brand will remain unchanged.

August 3, 2009--While cable and component maker Belden (www.belden.com) has informed about 170 workers at its Mohawk cable manufacturing facilities in Leominster, MA that it will cease operations there effective next July as part of a corporate restructuring plan, the Mohawk cabling brand will remain unchanged.

Gene Pfeiffer, Belden's manager of corporate communications, says that while production from the Leominster plant will shift to company manufacturing facilities in Monticello, KY and Nogales, Mexico, "There is nothing negative regarding the Mohawk brand going forward—it's an important part of our overall business plan."

The 210,000-square-foot Mohawk Drive plant in Leominster—one of two Belden-owned facilities in the central Massachusetts city--has produced copper, optical-fiber, and hybrid wire and cable used in cabling infrastructures for markets that include data centers, broadcasting, and security. Known variously as Mohawk Cable Company, Mohawk Wire & Cable, and Mohawk/CDT over its nearly 50 years of existence, the company most recently was acquired by Belden through a merger with Cable Design Technologies in 2004.

But the economy's deep impact on the worldwide structured cabling market prompted Belden to announce a company-wide restructuring in December 2008, affecting 1,800 jobs and manufacturing consolidation. In March, Belden said it would close its Manchester, CT Mohawk manufacturing plant (slated for next month), impacting 135 employees. Most of the production, it was reported at the time of the closure announcement, was to be transferred to Belden's recently opened manufacturing facility in Nogales where labor costs are significantly less.

The $30 million Nogales plant is Belden's third manufacturing facility in Mexico, and at the time of its opening in 2007 prompted the phasing out of production at Belden coaxial and twisted-pair cabling facilities in Tompkinsville, KY and Fort Mill, SC. But Pfeiffer says that while "there are no details or specific plans yet" for the Nogales or Monticello facilities concerning the Mohawk/Leominster production load, the Leominster plant closing is "one of the last pieces of the puzzle" in the company's restructuring.

For the second quarter of fiscal 2009, ending late July, Belden reported revenue of $343.8 million and operating income of $4.3 million, compared to $556.3 million and $65.9 million respectively for the same time in 2008.

On the Web: www.belden.com


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