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Char-Broil grills to be made in China

Responding to intense price pressures from overseas manufacturing, W.C. Bradley Co. announced it will transition all Char-Broil grill production from Georgia to China by the end of 2006. The company's Columbus, Ga.-based manufacturing workforce will be affected by the move beginning in mid-2005.

"In order to remain competitive in a dramatically changing marketplace, we're making one of the toughest decisions in our company history," said Steve Butler, chairman and CEO of W.C. Bradley.

W.C. Bradley manufactures and sells more gas grills under the Char-Broil name than any other grill brand in the United States. The company will manufacture 2 million grills this season in Columbus, with its 500 full-time employees, supported by a seasonal workforce. That U.S. production number will decrease by half in the 2005–06 season, causing a related reduction in the company's manufacturing workforce starting in summer of 2005. The transition will be complete by the end of 2006.

"Our team members have worked very hard over the last year to energize the business and reduce cost in our domestic operations," Butler said. "Even with that success — and our team has done an incredible job — external price pressures are too great to continue operating the way we have."

The move is not expected to have an impact on any other W.C. Bradley businesses.

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