Hayter plans to move lawnmower production back to UK

Lawnmower maker Hayter is hoping to bring the production of two models back to the UK from China.

Toro-owned Hayter said that the weakness of the pound against the dollar, higher labour costs in developing countries, currency swings and a slump in demand for goods globally are making outsourcing less attractive.

Sales and marketing director David Sturges said Hayter was considering the move because of increases in the cost of sourcing products from China due to the US dollar strengthening against sterling.

The reduced lead times would mean Hayter would be better able to respond to changes in customer demand. It would also mean better asset utilisation in Hayter's UK manufacturing operation and quality control closer to market as fewer resources are required to manage quality in the UK compared with a more remote location like China.

"It's something we're evaluating at the moment. We're in the midst of assessing a move, which will be decided on later this year."

Hayter employs 175 people at its Hertfordshire plant.

In 2000, Hayter's then-owner Tomkins sold Hayter to a Chinese investment company. Between 2000 and 2005 Hayter introduced two new models to its range.

Sturges said: "These were made in China from the outset because it was more cost-effective to do so."

Toro bought Hayter in 2005.

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