AUBURN — Standing in front of what will be Kassbohrer All Terrain Vehicles’ new local headquarters, Regional Manager Jim Bear said Wednesday the larger space will give the company more flexibility with its product line and more outdoor storage.
The company broke ground on property off Merrow Road over the winter. Auburn issued a permit for the $1.4 million building project last month.
Bear said he hopes to be in by August.
Kassbohrer ATV is one of five sites in the U.S. for German parent company Kassbohrer AG. It largely specializes in sales, parts and service for PistonBully snow groomers that can cost as much as half-a-million dollars.
“The machines are probably 98 percent assembled when they get here,” Bear said. “We do final assembly, installation of the tracks.”
Kassbohrer has been on Alfred Plourde Parkway in Lewiston for the past 20 years. The new building is 20,500 square feet, 7,000 square feet larger than its current location, Bear said.
Next door to the new location, the company has an additional 2.5 acres for outdoor storage, three times the space it has in Lewiston.
“That’s really where we got bottled up in Lewiston, not having enough space to bring in whole goods from Germany,” Bear said. “We’re hoping to triple our spare parts availability for the East Coast.”
The building project had been announced as coming to Lost Valley Ski Area back in March 2017. Bear said it was a corporate decision not to pursue that site.
Current neighbor and landlord John Gendron helped the company find this location, he said. Kassbohrer will buy the new property once the building is complete.
Harry Turgeon, who works in logistics and has been with Kassbohrer since it bought Lost Valley-based Valley Engineering back in the 1970s, said the lifespan of a snow groomer is reflective of how well the owner treats it.
“It’s a little bit like a car — some customers take good care, others do not,” he said.
Turgeon said the company and its customers are both coming off a good season. Orders are being placed now for next winter.
Kassbohrer ATV has nine employees, including five mechanics. Bear anticipates ending the year with 10 employees.
“We’re just super excited to have this place,” he said.