Freightliner LLC has announced that it intends to transfer selected functions, including truck sales and marketing, from its corporate headquarters in Portland, OR, to a South Carolina location closer to customers and Freightliner Trucks production facilities. Corporate headquarters will remain in Oregon.
Company officials confirmed that 341 positions are affected. In addition to truck sales and marketing, other elements being relocated manage relations with the company’s dealer network, provide technical support to both dealers and customers, and ensure a reliable and cost-effective supply of replacement parts. The effective date for the move is July 31, 2008.
Company officials stressed that Freightliner LLC corporate headquarters will continue to be based in Portland, OR. “Our corporate headquarters will remain here in Portland, with a workforce of 2,200 once the transfer is complete. Operations at the Western Star Manufacturing Plant on Swan Island, which currently employs 970, are not affected. My office and key functions such as research and development, information technology, finance and accounting, human resource management, procurement and logistics, and others remain in Portland. And our commitment to support the communities in which our employees live and work is not changed in any way,” stated Chris Patterson, president &CEO of Freightliner LLC.
According to the company, further relocations are possible in the foreseeable future, depending on the evolution of the company’s relationship with its affiliates and dynamics in its markets. “Negotiations with South Carolina include contingencies in the event that we elect to center more of our operations there, and we will construct a dedicated facility to house the transferred departments on land we expect to acquire in the very near term,” added Patterson.
“The center of gravity for our Freightliner Trucks product line is in the eastern United States,” he said. “We have concluded that sales, marketing and customer support activities for our flagship products are better conducted in closer proximity to the majority of our customers and dealers. Secondarily, our supplier base, our affiliated companies and our Freightliner Trucks manufacturing activities are largely located in the eastern part of the continent,“ Patterson said. “Our plans to achieve benchmark performance as a company in the years ahead require that we address this issue head-on.”
Employees were notified of the decision on November 1, following an internal announcement in early September that a potential move of selected customer- facing functions was under evaluation. Relocation offers have been extended to all employees whose jobs are being moved, regardless of level or corporate service.