Lennox plans to expand Mexico plant

The future of about 250 jobs at Lennox is unclear following an announcement from the corporation Monday.

Lennox intends to add a production line for heating units at a facility in Mexico within the next two years. The Marshalltown facility currently houses multiple heating lines, and company spokesperson John Hurst said it would continue to do so.

“A large chunk of the heating and cooling product will still be made in Marshalltown,” Hurst said.

The company is anticipating increased orders in the next two years, meaning the new line in Mexico could handle the additional capacity and allow all lines in Marshalltown to be retained.

“Two years from now, if the economy continues to do what its doing, the effect (on the Marshalltown plant) could be negligible,” Hurst said.

If business does not expand, jobs would be eliminated in Marshalltown.

The move, which would happen in late 2014 at the earliest, is pending a negotiation with the United Auto Workers union which represents Lennox workers in Marshalltown.

Jeff Vaggert, a union employee at Lennox, said Tuesday afternoon that there were numerous rumors swirling around the plant but nothing had been solidified.

“Everything will be discussed,” Vaggert said.

He was unsure when an agreement would be reached; Hurst hoped it would be within a month.

According to financial records obtained by the New York Times, Lennox International – the parent company of the Marshalltown plant – earned a profit of $139 million last year and recorded profits between $89 million and $145 million from 2008-11.