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Daimler to Lay Off More Than 1,200 at North Carolina Truck Plants


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The Wall Street Journal / February 15, 2016

Daimler AG said it would lay off more than 1,200 workers this week at a pair of North Carolina assembly plants in response to falling demand for commercial trucks.

Daimler's North America truck unit, which makes Freightliner trucks, said Monday it plans to furlough 550 workers at its Cleveland, N.C., assembly plant, a quarter of the plant's employees.

More than one-third of the workforce at Daimler's Mount Holly plant, about 700 employees in all, will be laid off as well.

The layoffs will take effect Friday.

The Mount Holly plant, which builds medium-duty trucks, will drop to two work shifts a day from three for the 1,450 workers remaining on the job.

The 1,600 workers left at the Cleveland plant will work a single daily shift. The plant had previously operated with two shifts.

The Cleveland plant, which assembles heavy trucks, already trimmed more than 900 workers in early January. Daimler workers losing their jobs this week will be paid through April to comply with federal notifications rules for large-size layoffs.

Freightliner is the market leader in sales of heavy-duty trucks in North America. Rival truck makers Volvo and Paccar Inc. also have recently trimmed their production and employees.

After a stretch of elevated buying of trucks in recent years, trucking companies have been scaling back their purchases as U.S. industrial activity slows and demand for freight-hauling service weakens. January orders for heavy-duty trucks in North America fell by nearly 50% from a year earlier to about 18,200 vehicles.

Production of heavy trucks in 2016 is expected to be down 10% to 20% from 2015.

Related reading - http://www.bigmacktrucks.com/index.php?/topic/43388-freightliner-to-cut-almost-1000-jobs-at-cleveland-nc-truck-plant/?hl=daimler

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