As part of its bid “to improve the competitiveness and overall industrial efficiency” of its North American industrial operations, Volvo Construction Equipment (Volvo CE), said it will close down its Asheville, NC, plant by March 31, 2010.
The closing will eliminate 228 jobs and cause Volvo CE to incur an estimated restructuring cost of 100 million crowns ($16 million), most of which would be booked in the fourth quarter.
The company said production at Asheville will be moved to other existing Volvo CE locations and it will ensure “uninterrupted supply to our North American dealers and customers.” The manufacture of wheel loaders will move to Arvika, Sweden; excavators will be produced in Changwon, Republic of Korea, and cabs for motor graders will be built domestically at Shippensburg, PA.
“Although the decision was necessary from a business standpoint, we fully understand that the affected employees – who in the current downturn are already going through challenging times – will face additional difficulties,” said Patrick Olney, executive vp, Global Operations. “We will do what we can to help our employees through the transition.”
“Volvo CE’s commitment to the US market remains strong,” added Olof Persson, president & CEO of Volvo Construction Equipment, “This decision has no impact on the ongoing significant investments in Shippensburg, where the Volvo CE plant is being expanded to receive the motor grader production and the manufacturing of grader cabs.”