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Caterpillar to lay off up to 3,270 at Illinois, Georgia plants

Peoria, Illinois, October 15, 2002; Bloomberg News reported that Caterpillar Inc., the world's second-biggest maker of heavy-duty diesel engines, said it will lay off as many as 3,270 workers at Illinois and Georgia plants that make truck engines because of slowing demand.

The layoffs will be at Illinois plants in Mossville, Pontiac and Mapleton; as well as Georgia plants in Jefferson and Thomasville, the company said in a statement. The figure includes plans to lay off 470 workers announced in September.

Caterpillar and rivals such as DaimlerChrysler AG's Detroit Diesel unit are laying off workers as heavy-truck demand declines because of tougher U.S. truck-engine pollution rules that took effect this month. Orders are falling because trucking companies stocked up with vehicles with engines that met the previous rules because of concerns about the new engines' cost and reliability.

Shares of Caterpillar fell 87 cents to $35.71 at 4:15 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. News of the layoffs was announced after the close of regular U.S. trading.

Caterpillar, based in Peoria, Illinois, had about 71,600 employees as of June 30.