Freightliner to sell American LaFrance

Freightliner intends to divest its American LaFrance (ALF) fire and emergency services manufacturing business unit.

Based in Ladson SC, ALF was acquired by Freightliner in 1995 as part of a corporate expansion. ALF is the nation's fifth-largest fire and emergency services vehicle producer with a heritage dating back 173 years. It operates six manufacturing facilities and five owned dealer locations across the nation and has a workforce of about 1,200 hourly and salaried employees.

The company plans to use the 460,000-square-foot plant and office building, situated north of Charleston, for other purposes in its commercial vehicle business. A total of 528 Ladson-based direct and salaried jobs will be affected.

Two current ALF manufacturing facilities, at Hamburg NY and Casper WY, are to take on the production of bodies that is being transferred from Ladson as part of internal restructuring. Body production transfer work is scheduled to begin in October and be completed by late in 2005. A major share of the affected jobs at Ladson (about 250 of the 528) is a result of this production transfer.

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