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Economy | Business

Portland Freightliner Plant To Stay Open

Freightliner told its employees Monday that contrary to an announcement it made last year, it won’t close its Portland factory in 2010. Kristian Foden-Vencil reports.

Freightliner planned to phase out the Oregon production of military vehicles and Western Star trucks.

It wanted to save money by moving production to Mexico. But the company recently received a large order from the U.S. Army.

In a press release, the chief operating officer now says they’d prefer to focus on the "timely delivery" of that order — instead of the distraction of moving production.

The statement also says the company will renew its focus on the Western Star brand — and the proximity of the Portland factory to engineering staff is another reason to stay in the U.S.

Meanwhile, Freightliner is negotiating a new contract with its unions. The company says the cost disadvantages of operating in Portland have not changed, and that the new contract must focus on increased flexibility and reduced costs.

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