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Volvo to cut 142 workers at its plant near Hagerstown

December 12, 2008|By HEATHER KEELS

HAGERSTOWN - Volvo Powertrain North America will lay off 142 workers at its Washington County plant effective Jan. 5, spokeswoman Ilse Ghysens said Friday.

The layoffs are a result of the economic slowdown and will coincide with cutbacks in engine and transmission production, Ghysens said.

"It's of course very unfortunate to make this decision but that's what we have to do right now with the current market conditions," she said.

The plant will cut transmission production by a third and engine production by 25 percent, Ghysens said.

The Hagerstown plant employs about 1,260 workers building heavy engines, gearboxes and driveshafts for Volvo brands. The company makes Volvo, Renault, Mack and Nissan Diesel vehicles.

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On Wednesday, Volvo announced plans to lay off 180 employees at its Mack Trucks factory near Allentown, Pa., and extend its annual end-of-year shutdown for an extra week at that site because of slow orders.

The cuts announced this week follow layoffs of more than 1,000 powertrain workers, including 65 in Hagerstown, in November. The other November job cuts were in the Swedish cities of SkvÃ
de, GÃ
teborg and KÃ
ping.

Earlier in the year, Volvo announced layoffs of 2,000 workers at truck plants in Belgium and Sweden, and 1,350 workers at its construction equipment unit.

Volvo is based in GÃ
teborg, with North American headquarters in Greensboro, N.C.

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