UPDATE: Bad Boy Mowers to Expand Batesville Plant, Add 150 Jobs

Bad Boy Mowers said Thursday that it will spend $7.4 million to add 150 jobs and expand its plant in Batesville to manufacture 10 new multi-terrain vehicles.

The 14-year-old company, led by Robert Foster and Phil Pulley, makes highly maneuverable, zero-turn mowers and multi-terrain vehicles at plants in Batesville and Melbourne (Izard County). The company said the new jobs will bring total employment to 550 people.

Gov. Mike Beebe announced the company's expansion during a keynote speech at the Batesville Business Expo, taking place Thursday at the University of Arkansas Community College at Batesville.

"Bad Boy Mowers is a homegrown Arkansas company that continues to grow thanks to an entrepreneurial spirit and a strong, committed workforce," Beebe said. "Bad Boy and Batesville have brought each other success in recent years, and I'm glad to see this relationship continue to strengthen."

Company officials told Arkansas Business that the expansion will include adding 115,000 SF of space to the Batesville plant.

"We have a family atmosphere and a team spirit second to none, and a group of hard working, talented, and extremely dedicated employees that have made us what we are, allowing us to continue to grow and expand," Pulley said.

Bad Boy's mowers range in price from about $3,000 for the MZ Series, which features either Briggs or Kawasaki engines, to $13,000 for the Cat Daddy, a four-cylinder diesel model with a Caterpillar engine. It also makes six lines of multi-terrain vehicles -- two- and four-seat vehicles made for agricultural, industrial, recreational or high-performance purposes.

The company hinted at expansion in a Feb. 20 Arkansas Business story, detailing plans to add a line of "ultra-terrain" vehicles. The three-quarter-ton vehicles will accommodate three adults; a planned "double-cab" will accommodate six.

The market for ultra-terrain vehicles includes hunters, trail riders and farmers who will use them in place of their pickups. In the article, Foster told Arkansas Business the company hoped to launch the line in September or October.

Bad Boy has about 450 to 500 dealers in 47 states. In also has distributors in Canada, Denmark, Australia, the United Kingdom and New Zealand.

In all, Bad Boy's operations have grown to include three facilities with a total of about 650,000 SF under roof.