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Freightliner to move select office staff to S.C.

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Freightliner is moving some key personnel to South Carolina so they can better support the compan...

PORTLAND, Ore. — Freightliner is moving some key personnel to South Carolina so they can better support the companys customers.

Freightliners headquarters will remain in Portland, Ore. however. The company announced late yesterday it would be transferring selected functions from Portland to a South Carolina closer to customers and production facilities.

About 341 jobs will be affected, the company announced, including Freightliner Truck sales and marketing positions. Other positions being affected include those pertaining to the companys dealer network, technical support and parts supply.

The center of gravity for our Freightliner Trucks product line is in the eastern United States, said Chris Patterson, president and chief executive officer of Freightliner LLC during a Portland press conference. We have concluded that sales, marketing and customer support activities for our flagship products are better conducted in closer proximity to the majority of our customers and dealers. Secondarily, our supplier base, our affiliated companies and our Freightliner Trucks manufacturing activities are largely located in the eastern part of the continent. Our plans to achieve benchmark performance as a company in the years ahead require that we address this issue head-on.

About 2,200 employees will remain in Portland, Patterson announced. The companys Western Star manufacturing plant will not be affected by the changes. The new office, to be established in Northern South Carolina, will be in close proximity to the Charlotte-Douglas International airport as well as Freightliners existing truck plant, Patterson confirmed.

Most employees will be relocated by early summer, 2008. Operations at the new office will commence July 31, 2008, Patterson said.

This has been a difficult decision for many reasons. We are acutely aware that this choice affects career and personal plans for many of our employees and their families, added Patterson. We are taking steps to minimize potential cost and disruption for the employees who choose to move, and to appropriately compensate those who cannot accept our offer for personal or professional reasons.

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