Great Dane Trailers will close its refrigerated trailer manufacturing facility in Savannah, GA effective January 9, 2009, citing effects of the economic downturn and a desire for more efficient production.
Built in 1919, the plant produced the first-ever factory finished refrigerated trailer, the company said. Approximately 270 plant hourly and office employees will be affected by the closing, although Great Dane said there will be no impact on its corporate office.
"This move is necessary to meet customer expectations, while being price competitive," said Phillip Pines, COO of Great Dane Limited Partnership. “Advancements in technology, both in the design and production of trailers, have placed increased demands on manufacturing. The addition of a modernized facility will help maintain Great Dane's position as the leader in the refrigerated trailer market."
The search has begun to look for a way to replace the capacity, according to the company. Until a new plant is established, the Savannah plant’s production will be transferred to Great Dane’s refrigerated plants in Wayne, NE and Brazil, IN.