Daimler plans to ramp up production, hire additional 1,400 employees

Truck News

PORTLAND, Ore. — Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) has announced plans to sharply increase production and employment levels at its Mt. Holly, N.C. and Portland, Ore. truck manufacturing plants during the last half of 2011. Production and hiring will also increase significantly at the company’s Saltillo plant in Mexico. More than 1,230 new employees will be added to the company’s manufacturing and administrative payroll in these three locations to accommodate rising customer demand for the company’s Freightliner and Western Star trucks, the company announced. In addition, more than 120 shop and staff employees will be added at the company’s Gastonia, N.C. parts manufacturing plant. Company officials have confirmed that the hiring plans are in addition to the more than 1,300 positions filled in the company’s truck and parts facilities during the first half of 2011.

“Our manufacturing network is highly scalable and together with our component suppliers, we are fully prepared to handle current and projected order levels,” said Roger Nielsen, chief operating officer of DTNA. “We have the capacity and the leverage to meet customer delivery schedules despite the industry supply challenges associated with economic recovery and recent global events. We take great pride in our manufacturing workforce and in the proven performance, quality, and popularity of our vehicles.”

The Mt. Holly plant will add a second shift to its operations and plans to fill an additional 535 manufacturing and 37 related administrative positions by September. The plant manufactures Freightliner M2 Business Class medium-duty, hybrid, and natural gas trucks, as well as Freightliner’s new line of 108SD and 114SD trucks built for the severe-duty vocational truck markets.

The Portland plant plans to fill an additional 155 manufacturing positions between September and the end of the year. The plant manufactures Western Star trucks including the 4800, 4900, and 6900 product lines, as well as pre-series versions of the new 4700 line beginning later this year. The plant also manufactures Freightliner-branded military vehicles for use throughout the world.

The Saltillo plants plans to add a third shift and 479 manufacturing workers beginning in June. A total of 32 staff positions will also be filled at the plant. The Saltillo plant manufactures Freightliner Cascadia model trucks for the US, Canadian, and Mexican markets.

The Gastonia plant will add 121 manufacturing workers and three administrative positions by early in the fourth quarter of this year. The plant manufactures specialized parts and components for all the company’s commercial vehicle products, supplying every DTNA facility in the US and Mexico as well as its parts distribution centres in support of the worldwide Freightliner and Western Star dealer network.

Company officials also noted that employment at its Cleveland, N.C. plant expanded significantly in 2010 and jumped again in May, as part of the 1,300 position expansion in the DTNA manufacturing network announced earlier this year. The announcement includes 10 additional shop positions at the Cleveland plant expected to be filled by the end of July.  

The company is expecting to fill the majority of the new manufacturing positions at its US plants with workers currently in layoff status who will be recalled in order of seniority. Interested potential applicants have been asked to contact their state employment office or visit the DTNA Web site for additional information.

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