PORTLAND, Ore. -- Freightliner, the largest
maker of heavy-duty trucks in North America, says it will transfer
selected functions from its corporate headquarters in Portland to a
South Carolina location closer to customers and production facilities.
Company officials confirmed that 341 positions are affected, including
Freightliner Trucks sales and marketing functions. Other elements being
relocated manage relations with the company's dealer network, provide
technical support to both dealers and customers, and ensure a reliable
and cost-effective supply of replacement parts. Read more
"The center of gravity for our Freightliner Trucks product line is in
the eastern United States," stated Chris Patterson, president and CEO
of Freightliner LLC in a Portland press conference today. "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, adds Patterson,
the company's supplier base and affiliated companies and 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."
Freightliner LLC corporate headquarters will continue to be based in
Portland. Operations at the Western Star Manufacturing Plant on Swan
Island, which currently employs 970, are not affected.
The departments being transferred will occupy offices in northern South
Carolina, in close proximity to both the Charlotte-Douglas
International airport, and within a 75 mile radius of long-established
Freightliner Trucks manufacturing facilities in the region. Operations
are expected to commence July 31 2008 in the new location. Patterson
stated that further relocations are possible in the foreseeable future,
depending on the evolution of the company's relationship with its
affiliates and dynamics in its markets.
"Negotiations with South Carolina include contingencies in the event
that we elect to center more of our operations there and we will
construct a dedicated facility to house the transferred departments on
land we expect to acquire in the very near term. Our specific plans
will evolve with time and consistent with our business needs." Courtesy of Today's Trucking