Daimler Trucks North America today announced the addition of a second shift and plans to ramp up production at its Freightliner Truck Manufacturing Plant in Cleveland, N.C. This will result in the creation of 1,200 new jobs, including 100 at the nearby DTNA Components and Logistics Plant in Gastonia, N.C.
The additional workers will increase personnel at the largest Freightliner manufacturing plant in the United States by more than 70 percent, from approx. 1,600 to over 2,700. The Cleveland facility produces Class 8 heavy-duty truck models, including the Freightliner Cascadia, Columbia, and Argosy product lines.
DTNA is ramping up production in response to the positive market development in the NAFTA region. Freight volume is back up to pre-crisis levels, and vehicle fleets are now being gradually replaced after not having been modernized for several years. The demand growth particularly benefits heavy-duty long-haulage trucks, creating backorders as long as six months for the Freightliner Cascadia model.
In 2011 in the United States and Canada alone, Daimler’s North American commercial vehicle subsidiary substantially boosted truck sales, posting an above-average gain from the strong market rebound. With 94,155 vehicles through November 2011, sales were almost 55 percent higher than in the same period of 2010. DTNA is the most successful manufacturer of Class 6 – 8 trucks in the United States and Canada, with a market share of 32.7 percent (as of October 2011).
In response to the increased customer demand for Freightliner and Western Star brand trucks, DTNA had already increased its workforce by around 3,000 employees at various truck manufacturing facilities in the U.S. and Mexico last year.
“The growing demand for our products shows that we are on the right track and is testimony to our brands’ focus on providing efficient business solutions for our customers’ transportation needs,” said Martin Daum, President and CEO of Daimler Trucks North America, at the announcement of the production ramp-up. “We’re delivering trucks with industry-leading fuel-efficiency technology and the lowest total cost of ownership, thanks to our access to Daimler resources and technologies.”
Hiring of new employees will begin in early February, and the new production shift is slated to be at full capacity by September 2012.
Freightliner trucks are also sold internationally, and 20 percent of the trucks built at the Cleveland plant are sold through Daimler subsidiaries in the export markets of Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa.
Source: Daimler AG