Kenworth Truck Co. said it is laying off workers at its assembly plant in Chillicothe, Ohio, because of a drop in truck orders.
Kenworth spokesman Jeff Parietti told Light & Medium Truck’s sister publication Transport Topics that 10% of the plant’s workers received the layoff notices, but declined to give actual numbers, saying it was against company policy to disclose the total number of people employed at its plants or any other figure on employee numbers.
Citing analysts, the Wall Street Journal reported that the plant’s total headcount was 2,000 to 2,500, or about 10% of parent company Paccar Inc.’s total workforce. Paccar is also the parent of Peterbilt Motors Co.
Parietti cited a decline in new over-the-road truck orders as the reason for the layoffs.
“That plant makes our Class 8 trucks. The T660, T800, T700 and the W900 are the main models assembled there,” he said, adding, “All of our other plants are maintaining their current build and employment levels at this time.”
In March, manufacturers received about 20,000 Class 8 truck orders — a 31% drop from a year ago and the third straight month of year-over-year declines.