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Freightliner to build truck plant in Mexico

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Freightliner is building a new production plant in Saltillo, Mexico where it will build up to 30,...


Freightliner is adding capacity by building a new manufacturing plant in Mexico.
Freightliner is adding capacity by building a new manufacturing plant in Mexico.

PORTLAND, Ore. — Freightliner is building a new production plant in Saltillo, Mexico where it will build up to 30,000 Freightliner and Sterling trucks each year.

The company announced it is adding capacity in preparation for an anticipated market upturn in 2009. Freightliner officials said they were unable to meet demand in 2006, due to capacity constraints. The new plant will cost $300 million, with production expected to get underway in early 2009.

“This new facility underscores our confidence in the NAFTA truck market, and our bullish mid-term outlook for industry recovery post-2007,” said Freightliner LLC president and CEO, Chris Patterson. “Frankly, we were not able to produce what we could have sold in 2006 due to capacity constraints. We expect another surge in customer demand in 2009 prior to the next round of EPA emissions regulations, and the construction of this new plant will ensure that we are fully prepared.”

Freightliner is not a stranger to Mexico. The company already has a plant in Santiago Tianguistenco, where it builds heavy- and medium-duty trucks for the Mexican market as well as some trucks for export to other countries including Canada. The new plant, which will be one million square feet, is strategically located near an existing Chrysler plant.

Five major truck manufacturing companies already manufacture vehicles in Mexico, pointed out Roger Neilsen, chief operating officer with Freightliner.

“DaimlerChrysler has had excellent success in recent years with quality, cost and efficiency through our Mexican operations, and we fully expect the new plant in Saltillo to set benchmark standards for DaimlerChrysler Truck Group manufacturing facilities worldwide,” Neilsen added.

The new facility will sit on 740 acres and will feature a PDI/transporter center and test track as well as room for future expansion. Ground will be broken on the site in the second quarter of 2007, Freightliner officials announced.


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