Daimler Trucks North America Thursday, June 9, announced it plans to increase sharply production and employment at its Mt. Holly, N.C., and Portland, Ore., truck manufacturing plants, as well as at its Saltillo, Mexico, facility during the last half of 2011.
Together, more than 1,230 employees will be added to the company’s manufacturing and administrative payroll in these three locations to meet rising demand for the company’s Freightliner and Western Star trucks. A majority of the hires will come from laid-off employees, the company said.
In addition, more than 120 shop and staff employees will be added at the company’s Gastonia, N.C., parts manufacturing plant.
Company officials said the hiring is in addition to more than 1,300 positions filled in the company’s truck and parts facilities during the first half of this year.
“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, 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.”
The Mt. Holly plant will add a second shift 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 108SD and 114SD trucks built for the severe duty-vocational truck markets.
The Portland plant plans to fill an additional 155 manufacturing positions between in the fourth quarter, the company said. The Portland plant manufactures Western Star 4800, 4900 and 6900 models, as well as pre-series versions of the new 4700 line beginning later this year. The Portland plant also manufactures Freightliner-branded military vehicles for global sales.
The Saltillo factory plans to add a third shift and 479 manufacturing workers beginning in June. An estimated 32 staff positions will also be hired. The plant manufactures Freightliner Cascadia model trucks for the U.S., Canadian, and Mexican markets.
The Gastonia parts facility will add 121 manufacturing workers and three administrative positions by early fourth quarter. The Gastonia plant manufactures specialized parts and components for all the company’s commercial vehicle products, supplying every DTNA facility in the U.S. and Mexico as well as our parts distribution centers in support of the worldwide Freightliner and Western Star dealer network.
Affected tractors are equipped with an automated Eaton UltraShift Plus or Eaton Advantage Transmission with right hand stalk shifter. In the affected trucks, the display on the instrument panel can indicate “N” when the shifter is set into “D” or “R,” causing the truck not to move.