Freightliner to cut production, workforce

Freightliner LLC is planning production rate adjustments at its truck manufacturing plant in St Thomas, Ontario. Eight hundred employees will be idled as a result. These changes are the first in a series of such measures that will affect all the company's vehicle and component assembly plants during the first quarter of 2007. As many as 4,000 production and related workers may be affected.

Chris Patterson, Freightliner LLC president and chief executive officer, said, “We will continue to monitor the market closely and make adjustments accordingly but we anticipate further reductions of up to 3,200 workers in the first few months of 2007. We are anticipating that demand will begin to recover in the second half of the year, as our customers gain confidence in the new technology, and their existing vehicles suffer the effects of aging. We expect to be able to make some positive workforce adjustments at that time.”

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