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04.08.2011

Terex confirms Wilmington closure

Terex Cranes has confirmed that it will end crane production at its Wilmington, North Carolina, facility by the end of the year. 60 shop floor jobs will go along with a further 30 administrative posts.

Terex acquired the Wilmington plant with its takeover of American Hoist & Derrick in 1998, after that company’s ill-fated relocation of its crawler crane production to Wilmington from St Paul Minnesota in the late 1980's. American had purchased the large riverside facility from Babcock & Wilcox which had produced larger boilers on the site.

Terex currently carries out assembly, fabrication and testing for its Peiner tower cranes and small crawler cranes produced under its OEM agreement with IHI. It says that it will maintain the service and aftermarket support team based in Wilmington on site for the foreseeable future.
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The Wilmington facility


Terex Cranes president Kevin Bradley said: "While the economy is beginning to improve, manufacturing capacity is greater than needed to meet foreseeable market demand. The decision to end the plant operation was not an easy one. However, we have determined that discontinuing production at Wilmington is the right decision for our business as we continue to consolidate our manufacturing footprint, consistent with the needs of our global customer base.”

Vertikal Comment

Terex has been looking at rationalising its crane production facilities for some time and had recently suggested that key plants, such as Zweibrücken in Germany and Waverly, Iowa were sacrosanct. Wilmington, given its marginal and less critical role was always the most likely to close, although local politicians worked hard to provide a suite of incentives to try and tempt the company to stay.

Terex range of production locations are largely the result of acquisitions rather than choice or economic rationale. And as with any business built this way it certainly has excess space, if not capacity. With the market picking up now is the best time to be taking such decisions and the company will certainly benefit from the rationalisation.

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