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Daimler slashes 3,500 jobs in North America

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Daimler slashes 3,500 jobs in North America
Photo: DPA
12:44 CEST+02:00
The German auto and truck maker Daimler said on Tuesday it would cut 3,500 jobs in the United States and Canada in the face of slumping demand.

The job cuts followed a decision to discontinue the group's Sterling Trucks brand in March 2009, the company said in a statement.

Daimler, the world's biggest maker of heavy trucks, would make additions to its Freightliner and Western Star lines "to address market segments that have been served by Sterling offerings" until now.

A Daimler spokeswoman told AFP the sector was subject to regular cycles, and that the German group had foreseen diminished demand late this year and early in 2009. "It is is falling back more sharply now," she added. In addition, "Sterling and Freightliner occupy the same (market) segment. But Freightliner has stronger sales and is our top-of-the-line," the

spokeswoman said.

The decision was taken "in response to continuing depressed demand across the industry and structural changes in the company's core markets," a statement by Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) said. It was was expected to produce annual savings of $900 million (€650 million) by 2011.

Costs were estimated at $600 million meanwhile, it added. The statement quoted Daimler board member Andreas Renschler as saying: "We are confident that this forward-looking strategy for DTNA is the right measure to address the challenges in the North American market."

Plants in Ontario, Canada and Portland, Oregon would be closed, while production would increase at two Mexican factories.

Some 2,300 workers at the Canadian and US plants would be directly affected by the closures, along with another 1,200 workers elsewhere. "A voluntary separation program will be available as well as other measures to offer flexibility and choice to affected employees," the statement said.

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