New York Air Brake to realign North American manufacturing operations

WATERTOWN, NY – New York Air Brake LLC (NYAB), a global manufacturer of innovative train control systems for the railroad industry, today announced a realignment strategy for its North American manufacturing operations. Among the actions, NYAB will launch production in Acuña, Mexico, and shift capacity and production scope at three U.S.-based NYAB facilities: Salisbury, North Carolina; Nixa, Missouri; and Kansas City, Missouri. The company will also complete a substantial manufacturing refocus in Watertown to become a machining operation.

New York Air Brake executives shared news of the plan at meetings with employees today. In order to minimize disruption to customers, the phased transition across North America will begin in the fourth quarter of 2021 and is expected to end by the close of 2022. The company employs nearly 400 workers at its location on Starbuck Avenue in Watertown. The shift of manufacturing impacts approximately 125 Watertown-based jobs, commencing at a date to be confirmed in early 2022.

“New York Air Brake is a global company operating in an ever-changing global marketplace. Throughout our history, this business has successfully evolved its manufacturing approach to better serve our customers,” said Ulisses Camilo, New York Air Brake President and CEO. “Our strategic direction for manufacturing has long been to capitalize on our locations and core competencies, always aiming to align production closer to the point of final assembly.”

He noted that over 70% of NYAB’s freight OE clients are producing railcars in Mexico – a number that continues to climb.

Camilo added, “The accelerated pace of globalization is a factor that places greater delivery pressure throughout the business. Our footprint in Mexico is a crucial connecting point in our North America growth plan. While Watertown manufacturing operations will see the greatest impact, the site is and has been the heart of our business for over 130 years. That will not change. We will remain a committed and active corporate citizen in the Watertown community and Jefferson County at large.”

Sharing today’s news with the workforce provides as much notice as possible to assist affected employees with this transition.

“Supporting our own is a responsibility on which we simply will not waver. We will take action to help support our affected employees as they take their next career step. This includes a severance and benefits package and job placement services. Over the coming weeks and months, we will actively work with outplacement and governmental agencies to begin that process,” said Camilo.