Western Star to open U.S. plant in 2000

KELOWNA, B.C. — Pushed to capacity at its manufacturing plant in Kelowna, B.C., Western Star Trucks plans to break ground early next year on a new truck-assembly plant near Charleston, S.C.

The 330,000-square-foot facility will cost $40 million to build, the company said. Production of class-8 trucks would begin approximately one year after construction begins.

Western Star’s Kelowna facility recently increased output to from 27 to 29 trucks per day. The company says it is investigating ways to further increase production there in order to dispense with a current order backlog of 6600 trucks.

Besides adding production capacity, the Charleston expansion is expected to improve Western Star’s presence in U.S. markets, according to Western Star Trucks president Robert Enright.

“Charleston is an ideal location for us and will play a large role in Western Star’s continued prosperity by locating our company closer to some of our key suppliers and existing customer base,’ Enright said.

The plant, to be located about 15 miles north of Charleston, will be the largest new development in the region in several years, Enright said, bringing with it about 200 jobs.

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