Freightliner Foresees Record Loss for 2001

DaimlerChrysler AG's Freightliner LLC unit, manufacturer and seller of heavy-duty commercial trucks, expects to lose a record $1.20 billion for all of 2001, and may permanently close two truck and parts-making facilities in Portland OR, Stark's News Service Interactive has reported.

The automotive newswire said Freightliner generated an operating profit of $900.0 million in 2000. Stark's reported that Freightliner is seeking to reopen a three-year labor contract with union workers at the Portland plants to reduce wages, kill bonuses, and halt future wage hikes to save the Portland sites from permanent closure. There was no guarantee that the closures would be avoided, the news service said.

The news service, citing company sources, said Freightliner lost more than $520.0 million during the first half of 2001. Stark's reported that a Freightliner executive told Portland union officials that, in addition to a $1.20-billion operating loss foreseen for 2001, almost 30% of its dealers appear to be near bankruptcy as a severe downturn in local market demand for its commercial vehicles begins to widen after terrorist attacks Sept 11, 2001, in New York City and Washington DC.

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