The Class 8 order backlog for Volvo Trucks North America is rising, but the company is still expected to furlough over 400 plant workers later this week.
The backlog is now at 10,230 units, almost 8% higher than the 9,500-unit backlog reported on December 22. The cancellation rate on gross order intake for new trucks remains at 10%.
The company extended the holiday shutdown at its Dublin, VA plant, which began last December 24, by an additional two weeks. When production resumed at the beginning of this week, production of its flagship VN-model was cut by 13.2% to 112 units per day from the pre-closing rate of 129 units per day.
The company did not lengthen the shutdown period for production of specialty Class 8-type trucks at the plant, but it reduced output by 21.9%.
While all of the plant’s approximately 3,200 workers are on the job this week, as many as 434 employees are expected to be furloughed after this Friday for an undetermined length of time.
Volvo hopes to to boost its U.S. Class 8 market share to 20% this year, despite the weaker market.
The company expects the North American heavy-duty truck market to decline in the first quarter of 2000, but to rebound slightly later in the year and stabilize at a higher level.