Volvo GM Heavy Truck Announces Plant Closing
Volvo GM Heavy Truck Consolidates Manufacturing Operations GREENSBORO, N.C., Oct. 17 -- Volvo GM Heavy Truck Corporation announced today that it will consolidate its truck assembly operations into its Dublin, VA, manufacturing complex. The move will result in the closure of its Orrville, OH, truck assembly plant on April 18, 1997. The Orrville plant currently produces 15 trucks per day and has 473 employees, of whom 291 are production workers. Volvo GM Heavy Truck recently expanded its Dublin complex with the addition of a cab assembly plant and paint facility, providing a central location for the production of its newly launched Volvo VN Series highway tractors. Included in the expansion and modernization was the addition of a separate assembly line for the company's current products. The consolidation will result in more efficient industrial operations and lower manufacturing costs. "The decision was a difficult one because we have a loyal, skillful work force in Orrville," said Marc Gustafson, president and CEO of Volvo GM Heavy Truck, "but the savings we will realize from this consolidation are important for our future. Our Dublin complex has the capacity for projected volume requirements, and our investments there make it extremely efficient for the long term. This puts us in a very good competitive position to serve our customers with quality and flexibility from a facility located within a convenient distance of our engineering and design facilities in Greensboro." Volvo truck models currently produced in Orrville include the Xpeditor(R), Autocar(R), WG straight truck, Autohauler, and the FE Series. Normal production at current line rates is anticipated to continue there through April 1997. Production transfer to Dublin will be accomplished in such a way as to ensure uninterrupted availability of high-quality products to dealers and customers. The Orrville plant closing will not affect other Volvo operations located in Columbus and Westerville, OH. Some employees at the Orrville plant will be offered employment with Volvo at other locations. Company executives will meet with all employees, including the leadership of the United Paperworkers International Local 786, to discuss the effects of the closure. Following the cessation of production, a small staff will continue work at the Orrville plant to complete the close-down of the facilities, which will be sold. The shutdown will not affect the operations of two American Commercial Vehicles (ACV) plants in Orrville engaged in the production and painting of cabs for Volvo's current product models. These cabs will be supplied by ACV to the Dublin assembly plant. Volvo GM Heavy Truck Corporation manufactures Class 7 and Class 8 Volvo highway tractors and trucks. The company also markets Volvo heavy-duty and mid-range diesel engines, transmissions, and rear suspensions. The company leads the heavy truck industry in the areas of quality manufacturing processes, safety research and development, and environmental care. Volvo GM Heavy Truck, headquartered in Greensboro, NC, is owned 87 percent by Volvo Truck Corporation, Gothenburg, Sweden, and 13 percent by General Motors Corporation. Volvo is the world's second largest producer of heavy trucks.