Fewer layoffs expected at Cat

Caterpillar Inc. said that improved fourth-quarter customer demand for its on-highway truck engines will reduce the number of temporary manufacturing shutdowns and employee layoffs at the company's engine and fuel systems facilities. Despite posting solid third-quarter numbers, Caterpillar Inc. said last month that it might temporarily lay off up to 3,270 workers due to lower industry demand for heavy trucks. The revised schedules at plants in Mossville and Pontiac, IL, and Jefferson and Thomasville, GA, mean that some employees will not face layoffs at all, while the majority will experience shorter periods of layoff. Caterpillar group president Richard L. Thompson said the company's engine business is seeing strong market acceptance for its low-emissions engine models. Cat's heavy-duty engines fall short of new federal emissions standards, but have received conditional certification from EPA to be sold in 49 states and Canada. They are subject to fines of $3,647 to $12,210 for each one sold, but Cat has stated that the amount will not be passed on to its customers.

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