PACCAR Engine Plant Startup On Hold


While the company has made no direct announcement, PACCAR won't be producing engines at its new Columbus, Miss., engine facility this year as originally planned. The new $400 million facility, which includes a 420,000 sq. ft. engine assembly plant and technology center situated on 400 acres, has been substantially completed, the company stated in its most recent earnings announcement.

But during a webcast with financial analysts, PACCAR Chairman and CEO Mark C. Pigott indicated that the company would not be building engines at Columbus this year. Instead, 12.9 L and 9.2 L diesel engines for Kenworth and Peterbilt trucks in North America will be sourced from its Eindhoven, the Netherlands, facility. "I think we obviously have capacity in Europe with the slowdown there," Pigott said. ¡°We are going to utilize that."

Production startup at Columbus is expected to be in late 2010, the company said in its earnings announcement. When it broke ground on the Columbus site in mid-2007, PACCAR had said the site would be completed in 2009 and begin assembly operations shortly thereafter. But late last year, rumors began circulating that indicated that the initial timetable might not be met.

"What sometimes doesn't make the headlines is that we essentially have a new engine factory in Europe that was built about four years ago that's state-of-the-art, so we'll manufacture there," Pigott said. "The buildings in Mississippi are essentially complete and it is a first-class facility that when the market recovers, we're looking forward to utilizing."
Source: Disel Progress Online
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