Daimler Trucks Layoffs in North America
In late January, Daimler Trucks issued a statement that warned of upcoming layoffs in Mexico and the United States. More details have become available in recent days. The largest layoffs are expected in North Carolina and Ohio. Daimler’s future remains uncertain as truck sales continue to fall in North America.
The Salisbury Post reported that Daimler Trucks intends to cut 715 jobs at a plant in Cleveland. Additionally, it plans to lay off nearly 500 employees at two factories in North Carolina. Job cuts are possible in Oregon as well. Currently, no information is available on the layoffs in Mexico.
The job cuts won’t have a major impact on Daimler’s bus division. The Business Journal reports that Thomas Built will not lay off any employees in the near future. Daimler does intend to terminate 80 jobs at a Freightliner plant in Gastonia that produces bus and truck parts, according to the Gaston Gazette.
Who is Affected?
The layoffs will primarily affect assembly line workers. Some technicians, machinists and electricians may also lose their jobs. The company has informed workers that it will cancel the layoffs or rehire employees if sales improve. Last year, the Cleveland plant rehired more than 500 workers after Daimler predicted an increase in sales.
Why is Daimler laying off over 1,000 employees? The company statement attributed these job cuts to a weakening economy. This appears to be a valid reason; businesses have purchased fewer commercial trucks in recent months. School bus sales remain strong, so the company does not plan to lay off bus factory workers.
Daimler Trucks predicts that the situation will improve. It points to the fact that many existing trucks are becoming rather old and will need replacement soon. Nonetheless, transmission supplier Eaton recently forecast a reduction in large truck output. It predicted that production will fall by about 8,000 units in 2013, according to Fox Business.
This trend also affects other truck and engine manufacturers. CNBC reported that Volvo earnings decreased significantly in late 2012. Profits also fell at Cummins during the fourth quarter. The company anticipates fewer sales in 2013 because manufacturers aren’t buying as many engines for large trucks.
The North American division of Daimler Trucks is based in Portland, Oregon. It sells products under the Western Star, Freightliner, Thomas Built and Detroit brand names. The division’s parent company is Daimler AG, a German corporation that produces luxury cars and commercial vehicles.