PORTLAND, Ore. —Daimler Trucks North America Wednesday said it would recall approximately 540 workers to three of its manufacturing facilities in North Carolina in response to increased customer orders.
Recalled workers are expected to be in place by mid-July at the company’s truck manufacturing facilities in Mount Holly and Cleveland, as well as at the components and logistics plant in Gastonia.
Daily build rates at the Mount Holly and Cleveland plants are rising sharply in response to strong 2010 order activity, Daimler officials said in a news release.
In April, Daimler and the UAW reached agreement on new labor contracts for the plants.
The new contracts include baseline production commitments, which will provide job stability and security for plant employees.
The company said customers have placed orders for more than 21,400 EPA10 vehicles to date, including 16,565 Freightliner-brand trucks.
Customers are responding with overwhelming acceptance to the design and technology featured on the Freightliner Cascadia and the heavy-duty engines equipped with BlueTec emissions technology provided by sister company, Detroit Diesel Corp., according to Mark Lampert, senior vice president of sales and marketing.
Introduced in 2007, the aerodynamic Cascadia was designed from the ground up to incorporate EPA 2010-certified engines, he said.
BlueTec emissions reduces emissions to near-zero levels of NOx and particulate matter as measured at the tailpipe and increases fuel economy by up to five percent over other emission treatment systems, the company reported.
“We lead the industry in EPA10-certified Class 8 truck orders without the use of credits," Lampert said. "We are the only heavy truck manufacturer in North America currently increasing production. Our Class 8 daily build rate in the U.S. will increase by more than 67 percent this July versus July 2009. We have also been able to sustain operation of all of our manufacturing facilities through the EPA07/EPA10 changeover without shutdown or interruption. That reflects the early readiness and maturity of our EPA10 engine and chassis combination."
This combined package was attractive to Schneider National, Inc. who recently ordered several hundred 2011-model year Freightliner Cascadia tractors. The trucks will be equipped with BlueTec selective catalytic reduction emissions technology. Freightliner Trucks, a division of DTNA, is the primary supplier of vehicles to Schneider National, including the majority of the company's EPA 2010-compliant trucks.
"We test all our vehicles extensively for fuel efficiency and operating performance before we buy," Steve Duley, vice president purchasing, for Schneider National, said. "We have accumulated more than 1.1 million miles with EPA10-compliant Cascadia trucks on a test basis since February 2009 and are exceptionally impressed with their performance."
Daimler officials said noted that the company’s combined Class 8 market share for the U.S. and Canada leads the industry at 34.2 percent April year-to-date, and that Daimler Class 8 orders represent approximately 36 percent of the industry backlog.
"Our Class 8 year-to-date share is a strong signal of customer endorsement, at nearly eight percentage points ahead of our closest competitor," Lampert said.
Lampert emphasized that a number of variables have contributed to DTNA's market success this year.
"There is no single driving factor behind our achievements to date,” he said. “Our customers can count on proven performance, improved fuel economy and the support of the industry's best dealer network.”
Kevin Jones of The Trucker staff can be reached to comment on this article at email@example.com.