Caterpillar cuts back on layoff plans

Improved demand for on-highway truck engines will reduce the number of temporary manufacturing shutdowns and employee layoffs at Caterpillar’s engine and fuel systems facilities, the company announced.

The impacted facilities are in Mossville, Ill., Pontiac, Ill., Jefferson, Ga., and Thomasville, Ga. The revised schedules mean that some employees will not face layoffs at all, while the majority will experience shorter layoffs.

Most heavy-truck and truck engine makers announced layoffs this year as orders slumped for engines produced after Oct. 1, the deadline for meeting strict emissions requirements.

Caterpillar’s competitors’ new engines use cooled exhaust gas recirculation to meet those standards.
Caterpillar will use its own technology, ACERT, to fully achieve the emissions reductions by early 2003. In the meantime, its bridge engines employ partial ACERT technology and the company has said it would not pass on to customers any fines related to emissions.

“While the North American trucking industry has experienced a significant drop in post-Oct. 1, 2002, sales, our customers continue to demonstrate extremely high confidence in the reliability and proven technology of Cat truck engines,” said Richard Thompson, Caterpillar group president for engines. “We are seeing strong market acceptance for our new low-emissions engine models.”