Paccar, Cat report profits; Volvo lays off 1,100 at Virginia plant

| 4/22/2008

The nation’s second largest builder of heavy trucks is reporting a first quarter drop in profits of 21 percent compared with a year ago.

Paccar, the parent company of Kenworth and Peterbilt, reported its profit in the first three months of this year to be $292 million. In 2007 Paccar reported $365 million in profits in the first quarter. Still, Paccar isn’t losing money. It’s just not earning as much.

Meanwhile, diesel engine manufacturer Caterpillar reported that its first quarter profits rose 13 percent, despite the weak U.S. economy. Caterpillar officials said that sales of machinery, engines and financial products in the rapidly growing economies of China, India and eastern Europe bolstered its earnings.

Another OEM, Volvo Trucks of North America, announced it will lay off 1,100 workers at its New River Valley plant in Dublin, VA. Previously, company officials had announced they would lay off 650 employees.

Volvo officials cited the weak economy and high diesel fuel costs as the reason for the cut-backs. The plant currently has 2,900 workers who make Volvo and Mack trucks.