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Garmin closes Tucson dog-collar plant, laying off 60

Garmin closes Tucson dog-collar plant, laying off 60

Tri-Tronics Inc., a subsidiary of GPS-device maker Garmin Ltd., has closed its local electronic dog-collar manufacturing operation, laying off about 60 production workers as production is moved to Taiwan.

But the company is keeping about 28 employees in Tucson to continue doing design and engineering work, and that operation is expected to expand, Garmin spokesman Ted Gartner said.

“It is definitely not going away,” Gartner said of the engineering group, citing more than $1 million in upgrades the company has made to its design facilities in the past year.

Manufacturing employees were notified in January that the production operation here would be closed, Gartner said, and the factory was shut down last week.

Garmin, a Swiss company known for its global positioning system navigation devices, acquired Tri-Tronics in July 2011 for an undisclosed price.

Tri-Tronics was founded in Tucson in 1968 and became a leader in electronic dog collars used by hunters, breeders, trainers and pet owners.

Gartner said Garmin decided to close the local manufacturing floor so it could take advantage of larger economies of scale at its extensive production facilities in Taiwan.

Laid-off production workers were offered severance packages and job-hunting assistance through state and local agencies, Gartner said.

Contact Assistant Business Editor David Wichner at or 573-4181.

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