Stanley Sells Off Delta; Will Move to S.C. - Popular Woodworking Magazine

Stanley Sells Off Delta; Will Move to S.C.

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Stanley Black & Decker is selling the Delta brand, which will then move its operations to Anderson, S.C. The purchaser is TOTY, according to Popular Woodworking Magazine sources. TOTY is a Taiwanese company that currently produces many benchtop tools for Stanley Black & Decker, Craftsman and Ryobi.

The new company will be renamed Delta Power Equipment and be headed by Bryan Whiffen, who is now listed as the senior vice president for product development at Techtronic Industries North America Inc., a worldwide manufacturer of tools that also is located in Anderson, S.C.

Whiffen could not be reached for comment on Friday.

The company will invest more than $3.6 million and expects to generate 40 new jobs, according to a press release from the South Carolina Department of Commerce. And the new facility should be in operation by April. According to an internal document obtained by Popular Woodworking Magazine, the transition of ownership will take place over the next four months.

“Until further notice, nothing will change with ordering product, freight terms, pricing, product availability, service parts, etc. For the short term, it will be business as usual,” according to the memo.

This is the latest turn for one of the most respected names in woodworking equipment. The company has passed through a number of owners – Stanley obtained the company in July 2004 – since it was founded in 1919 by Herb Tautz in his garage in Milwaukee, Wisc.

Some of the unanswered questions at this point include what will become of Delta’s domestic manufacturing, which has been scaled back in recent generations. Recently the company garnered a lot of attention from customers and the press by unveiling its new American-made Unisaw.

Until we get some more information, here’s what we do know from the official press release:

“The new facility will allow Delta Power Equipment to continue its tradition of providing top-notch woodworking equipment to our customers. We look forward to establishing our new operations in Anderson County,” Whiffen says in the press release. “South Carolina provided us with the positive business environment and market access we were looking for when deciding where to locate. We appreciate all the support we have received from state and local officials.”

And Joe Taylor, the secretary of commerce for South Carolina, had this to say in the release:

“Delta Power Equipment Corp. has a long history as a leading producer of woodworking tools and we are pleased to have them as a part of South Carolina’s business community. The company’s decision to locate its new operations in South Carolina is another indication that our state’s business-friendly climate, talented workforce and exceptional market access are working to attract new investments that create jobs for South Carolinians. We recognize that Delta Power Equipment could have made this investment anywhere and thank them for choosing to do business in South Carolina,”

— Glen D. Huey

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Showing 8 comments
  • john

    The inability of American investors, and the subsequent ability of foreign investors, to save these great American born companies continues to disappoint. My only hopes are that the new CEO will have enough "horsepower" to stand up to the over seas based parent executives when it comes to manufacturing decisions. Perhpas he can and at some point perhpas the company can be bought back by Americans and bring senior leadership to home soil. I will be patient and see, but I’m not optomistic.

  • JLV

    What about the Porter Cable brand? It’s currently marketed as "Delta / Porter-Cable".

  • Doug K

    I hope whatever happens they don’t sacrifice quality. A few years after Delta was first sold, I bought a floor model drill press. I found the spindle barrel and bushing clearance to be around .010 inch. Lots of chatter!! I called Delta and talked to them about the problem and their answer was, ‘That’s about as good as one can expect’!! After that I checked out several very old Delta drill presses that had been used by friends. There was almost no measurable wiggle even after years of use.
    Features are a good sales gimick but quality has to be there.

  • Frank P.

    Well, there goes another on the foreign pile. How’s that for history. When I purchase I always look for company ownership and manufacturing and try to keep it as close to home (USA) as possible. I know that is next to impossible these days but what this does for me is just put Delta in the foreign pile to be treated no differently than any other off shore manufacturer in the purchase decision process. Keeping business HQ and some manuf. here in the US is not the worst case scenario but where does the profit go?

    Frank P.

  • david bryant

    Real bummer that yet another company is being sold (back) to foreigners. I have nothing against other cultures at all, but c’mon, how about American products made in America by Americans? I would gladly pay more for such a tool. I’ve had my share of poor-quality hand and power tools that just break at the wrong time and left me in the lurch. I’d much rather pay an extra 20% for a quality "Made in USA" tool and only buy it once, versus having it fail and make a trip back to the store to buy another tool .
    I know it’s a sign of the times, but c’mon, why can’t we support our own economy?

  • Rob

    My guess is that we will see a flood of poorly engineered, underpowered, thow-away hand power tools with the legendary Delta name on them, what a shame. Just what we woodworkers don’t need.

  • Halteclere

    If this move ultimately results in a greater diversity of quality products and increased competition, then wonderful.

    Sometimes having several brands under one umbrella organization actually hinders all brand development, for there could be checks in place (i.e. R&D funding, corporate directives, shared sales and distribution chains, etc.) to keep one brand from taking away too much market share from another brand. By spinning off Delta, any conflicts or perceived conflicts between what is the best direction for Stanley Black & Decker and for Delta no longer are a concern, and each company can now pursue it’s plans independently.

    And maybe TOTY is following the Toyota automotive model of setting up manufacturing in the US, and is ahead of everyone else for moving larger woodworking machine manufacturing back to the States.

    Or maybe TOTY just bought the Delta brand name for rebranding their own products. We’ll have to stay tuned (and watch future tool shootouts and reviews) to know!

  • Harlan Janes

    Re Delta history. How does Rockwell enter the old history? My first table saw, very used in 1980, was a "Rockwell Contractor 12" which was the same saw as a Delta Contractor 10 available in 1980 (I replaced some parts, they fit).

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