Paccar to open engine plant

Paccar announced the official introduction of its MX series diesel engines and the opening this summer of its new engine plant in Columbus, Miss., during a press event at the Paccar Technical Center in Mount Vernon, Wash., on Feb. 5.

Not many companies are taking such steps during “the worst economy in decades,” said Paccar Chairman and CEO Mark Pigott. He credited Paccar’s ability to invest more than $1 billion in its engine initiative over the last decade to “a conservative business approach and long-term focus.”

The MX series, which will be standard on all Kenworth and Peterbilt trucks, features an in-line, 6-cylinder design with four valves per cylinder. Five separate engines make up the MX series, with power ratings ranging from 380 to 485 horsepower and 1,450 to 1,750 pound-feet of torque.

Paccar recently completed its 71st year of profitability and has paid cash dividends every year since 1941, Pigott said. “When markets are booming, every company looks good. But when you turn the lights off, only a few are still shining and that’s Paccar.”

When Paccar realized the economy was slipping into a recession, the company made some “challenging decisions,” Pigott said. Those included closing down factories, reducing the company’s head count by 40 percent, going “line-by-line” through the capital budget and working with suppliers. “You have to align your business with the recession,” he said. “Every year we go in focusing: We’re going to make money,” he said. “Let’s figure out how we’re going to do that.”

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