Sustained strong orders for new vehicles are causing Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) to plan a major increase in production at its Freightliner Truck Manufacturing Plant in Cleveland, N.C. The builder will add a second shift and plans on creating more than 1,100 new jobs by the end of 2012.
The order bank for new Class 8 trucks, primarily Cascadia-model road tractors, has stretched the order bank into July, said DTNA spokesman David Giroux. Higher production at Cleveland will slowly eat into the backlog and reduce some customers' waiting times.
The additional workers represent a 72% increase in personnel at the plant and will include approximately 1,072 shop employees and an 29 engineering and support positions. The Cleveland plant currently employs about 1,400 shop employees and 72 engineers, managers and support staff.
A majority of the positions will be filled with recalled workers who were laid off in 2009.The ramp-up will nearly double the daily production rates at the Cleveland plant by this October.
The largest Freightliner assembly plant in the United States, Cleveland produces Class 8 on-highway vehicles, including the Cascadia and Columbia conventional-cab models and the Argosy high cab-over-engine model.
The Argosy is no longer sold in the U.S., but is exported to South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, the company said. So are some conventionals, and nearly 20% of the trucks built at Cleveland are sold through Daimler subsidiaries in those countries.
Along with the ramp-up at the Cleveland plant, DTNA also will hire 100 employees at its nearby Components and Logistics Plant in Gastonia, N.C. Most of the 90 new hourly employees in the factory and 10 salaried and hourly office employees will staff a second and third shift.
Hiring for Gastonia will begin in early February and the new production shift is slated to be at full capacity by September.
DTNA now is accepting online applications for positions at the Cleveland and Gastonia plants, the company said. In addition, more than 145 positions in mechanical, electrical, electronic and manufacturing engineering and other functional areas are open at DTNA locations throughout North America. Job seekers may apply at dtna.jobs.