Stellar Industries Exits One Business to Strengthen Another

Dec. 11, 2015

Stellar Industries Inc. will focus on its core business, hydraulic truck mounted equipment, and will exit horse and livestock trailer manufacturing under the Kiefer Manufacturing Inc. name.

The change will result in the closure of a Sneedville, Tenn. facility on Dec. 31, 2015, and the transition of a location in Kanawha, Iowa to a Stellar company effective Jan. 1, 2016. Once the transition is complete, the plant in Iowa will be utilized to meet the increased demand and strengthen market share for Stellar products.

The company says it has been negotiating with a potential buyer for the facility in Sneedville. Stellar Industries hopes to finalize details of the sale in a timely manner to aid in a smooth transition for employees and new ownership.

“This was a difficult business decision that we considered carefully,” says Dave Zrostlik, president of Stellar Industries. “As an employee-owned company, we are proud of the products made by our hard-working employees. We are committed to treating our employees with dignity and respect, and helping them with the transition moving forward.”

Approximately 35 employees will be affected. All Sneedville employees will receive severance, vacation and personal pay.

“While this has been a difficult decision, Stellar Industries has taken the appropriate steps to assist the Kiefer Manufacturing employees in Sneedville by working collaboratively with our offices and workforce development,” says Hancock County Mayor Thomas Harrison. “We will begin job coaching and host a job fair Monday morning with the goal of placing each person. Employment is the key to the community’s success, and I am hopeful we will be able to retain jobs locally through the sale of Kiefer Manufacturing.”

Stellar Industries will complete as many orders as possible by Dec. 31, 2015. Manufacturing warranties and replacement parts will be transitioned in the sale of the facility.