Freightliner said Sept. 7 it intends to divest its American LaFrance fire and emergency services manufacturing unit. Freightliner acquired ALF, based in Ladson, S.C., in 1995 as part of a corporate expansion. The country’s fifth largest fire and emergency services vehicle producer, ALF operates six manufacturing facilities and five dealer locations and has approximately 1,200 employees. Chris Patterson, president and chief executive of Freightliner, said the company continuously reviews its product portfolio and business operations and, as part of this review, has determined the fire apparatus business will not continue as a core business.
“While the company has been driving improvement programs in recent times and we believe the American LaFrance business has growth and profitability potential, we also believe this potential can be better realized by a company that has a focus on ALF’s core markets,” Patterson said.
The company has held discussions with a number of parties interested in acquiring ALF, he continued. The buyer would be expected to acquire ALF’s manufacturing and distribution infrastructure. The Ladson facility would remain a DaimlerChrysler asset.