International plans post-Oct 1 layoffs

| 8/16/2002

International Truck and Engine Corp. has notified its Chatham, Ontario plant to expect a potential reduction of 400 workers "in the November timeframe" because of a "softening in demand" for the company's 9000 Series Class 8 trucks made there, according to Truck Group President Steve Keate.

Keate, who spoke with reporters Aug. 15, said the fourth quarter this year "will be a challenging time for the whole industry." He added: "Demand will be substantially less because some customers will take a wait-and-see attitude with the new engines."

To make the point, Keate said industry-wide receipts show Class 8 truck orders in March were 28,000, 27,000 in April, and 5,200 in July. "We expect August will look like July," he said.

He said everyone's order boards "are pretty well filled up" and that orders coming in now are post-Oct. 1, 2002, the deadline for engines to meet the Environmental Protection Agency's tough new emission standards.

In other matters, Keate noted the opening of a new 78,000 square-foot dealership in Denver. The facility has 135 employees, 60 service technicians and 40 service bays.

The opening complements International's continuing effort to improve its dealer network by focusing on leadership, economies of scale, training, systems capability and a consistent level of performance, Keate said.