Canavac has begun moving operations out of Owen Sound to Stratford, but it won't be closing the doors for a couple more months.
Company president David Lawrence said Monday that manufacturing at the Owen Sound plant continues, but assembly has been moved to Stratford.
“We won't be out of here until probably the end of June at the latest,” Lawrence said. “Our assembly lines are shut down -- they're down in Stratford now. Now the production equipment will be moved toward the end or middle of June.”
The Canadian privately owned central vacuum cleaner maker moved to Owen Sound in 1999 to a 40,000-square-foot building along the East Bayshore Rd. after a boat builder there went into receivership. Lawrence rents space in the former RCA cabinet making plant just down the road as well.
His new building is five times bigger than his building in Owen Sound and is wired with fibre optic cable, he said in an earlier interview. The move to Stratford will be completed by the end of June.
There were 42 people employed at the Owen Sound plant. Lawrence said more than half of those workers are gone now, with 15 to 20 remaining until the doors close for good in June.
Lawrence said earlier that the move to Stratford was necessitated by a lack of local large industrial space to accommodate the growing business.
"Owen Sound has been a good location for Canavac,” Lawrence said in an earlier interview. “It's just that unfortunately we outgrew what was available to us, and so we were in a sense forced to go to other locales as a means to try and continue the growth prospects of our company."
The move was announced in January.
Canavac is the third-largest central vacuum cleaner manufacturer in the world by volume, Lawrence has said. The majority of vacuums Canavac makes are not sold under that name. Canavac builds vacuums for other companies around the world, to their individual specifications, and their names appear on the machines, Lawrence said in an earlier interview. "As a result of that, people have a tendency to think we are a much smaller organization than we are."
The domestic market represents about 45% of the company's business, he said. Most of the rest goes into the United States, though Canavac also ships to Europe and New Zealand.