John Deere to cut 180 workers in response to low demand for equipment

Updated Sep 9, 2015
Deere 410E articulated dump truckDeere 410E articulated dump truck

John Deere has announced that it will lay off a combined 180 workers across two Illinois manufacturing facilities.

According to a report from the Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier, the company is laying off 150 workers at its East Moline Harvester Works facility and and another 30 workers at its Davenport Works facility.

According to the Deere website, the Davenport plant manufactures articulated dump trucks, four-wheel drive loaders, motor graders, log skidders and cabs. The Harvester Works facility manufactures combines and associated headers.

Deere spokesman Ken Golden told the paper the layoffs, which begin October 2, are indefinite and are in response to the low demand seen for farm equipment and, more recently, construction and forestry equipment.

Though the heavy equipment manufacturer has been toughing out a global agricultural slowdown since last year, construction equipment sales had been a positive for the company. But in the third quarter, demand for Deere’s construction and forestry equipment was impacted by the energy sector slowdown also impacting competitor Caterpillar.

“We thought construction would be up, but that hasn’t happened yet,” Golden told the paper.

Deere sales fell 20 percent during the quarter to $7.6 billion while profit dropped 40 percent to $512 million. For the first nine months of the year, Deere sales have fallen 18 percent to $22 billion while profit has fallen 37 percent to $1.6 billion.