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New Mack production line to cost $100 million

June 08, 2002|By LAURA ERNDE

laurae@herald-mail.com

It will cost more than $100 million to build a new production line for Volvo truck engines at Mack Trucks Inc.'s Hagerstown plant, local economic development officials said Friday.

Volvo, Mack's Swedish parent company, announced last month it would center its North American Powertrain Division in Hagerstown, which means all the engines for Volvo heavy trucks sold in North America will be made here in addition to Mack truck engines and transmissions.

The new engines are under development and won't be put into production until 2004 to 2007.

While the project is not expected to create a significant number of new jobs, it will preserve the Pennsylvania Avenue plant's 1,200 jobs.

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"The retention of jobs, such as those at Mack Trucks, is a key component to the stability and growth of Washington County's and the state of Maryland's economy. We are thrilled that Volvo has made this significant commitment to our community," Washington County Commissioners President Gregory I. Snook said in a press release from the Hagerstown-Washington County Economic Development Commission.

Volvo had considered sites in Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Mexico for the project, the EDC said.

In an unrelated development, Mack has recalled all of its laid off employees, local plant spokeswoman Patti Friend said.

Last year, Mack reduced its work force by 82 people through layoffs and attrition because of a slowdown in the heavy trucks market.

All those who wanted to come back to Mack have been offered the recall, although Friend could not say exactly how many accepted.

Mack has been in Washington County since 1961.

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