Jul 22 2009

Mack to idle workers for 2 more weeks

Category: truck driver Industryadmin @ 3:40 am

The lackluster economy is forcing Mack Trucks to schedule two more week long production shutdowns at its Lower Macungie plant, bringing it to 13 so far this year, officials said.

The latest monthly report released Tuesday by the Allentown truck maker shows 2009 is on a pace to be one of the company’s lowest production years in almost a decade.

”We continue to operate in a very difficult environment,” Mack spokesman John Walsh said. ”There are indications of the market finding a bottom and demand leveling out, but at very low levels.”

Walsh said production will be stopped during the weeks of Aug. 24 and 31 at the Lower Macungie Township plant, which produces vocational rigs like garbage trucks and cement mixers and employs about 425 workers. The workers are eligible for unemployment benefits during the duration.

Mack reported that trucks delivered in June were 1,160, down 21 percent from the same month a year ago. June was the largest production month so far this year for Mack, but the company is still on track to have one of its lowest production years since at least 2000. Through June, the company has produced 5,173 rigs, down more than 38 percent from the same time a year ago.

Mack’s hardships are in line with the entire trucking industry as the recession has slowed construction and shipping, two industries that dictate truck demand.

Volvo AB, Mack’s parent company, reported that the second quarter of this year yielded a net loss of $718 million and sales fell 33 percent compared with the same period a year ago. The Sweden-based company added that company wide truck deliveries declined 57 percent compared with the second quarter of 2008.

Mack does not produce trucks for future sales like automakers, so delivery totals directly represent customer orders.
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Tags: Allentown, cement mixers, company, garbage trucks, John Walsh, June, lower macungie township, Mack, Mack Trucks, percent, production, production shutdowns, truck, Walsh, year

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