Economic uncertainty? Or a simple market correction?
That remains to be seen.
But for now, Volvo Trucks North American is scaling back its truck manufacturing operations at its New River Valley plant in Dublin, Virginia, with company officials citing declining heavy truck orders for a pending layoff of 700 assembly line workers. The layoffs will take place in January of next year.
The news comes on the heels of a recent strike at the Mack Trucks assembly plant in Macungie, Pennsylvania, early this Fall, which forced parent company Volvo to idle the New River Valley production line during the 12-day negotiating period.
“We regret having to take this action, but we operate in a cyclical market, and after two years of extremely high volumes, we have to adapt to reduced market demand,” a Volvo spokesperson told HDT, noting that in June, the company announced its $400 million investment in the New River Valley plant. At the time, Volvo executives said they expected the company would have to lay people off around year-end due to decreased demand in North America for heavy-duty trucks.
“We expect the total North American truck market to be down nearly 30%, or about 100,000 trucks, in 2020,” the Volvo spokesperson added. “And we expect one of Volvo’s core segments, the long-haul truck market, to represent a significant part of that reduction. The reduction in production will unfortunately mean the layoff of about 700 people, beginning the week of January 20, 2020.”
The spokesperson said that outplacement support meetings led by the company and UAW representatives will be provided for all affected employees. Volvo also provide laid-off employees with information about the support available through the Virginia Employment Commission and the regional Rapid Response team.