Manitowoc has suspended crane production at its Passo Fundo plant in Brazil, reportedly letting around 80 employees go, while retaining around 20 staff, including those covering the parts and service operation which is also based at the facility.
The closure was immediate, with the company stating that it had substantial new product inventory in place to cover immediate local market sales for 2016 and beyond.
It has also said that while the indefinite closure was a necessary step in response to falling demand, its intention is to reopen the facility at some time in the future when demand dictates.
When the plant opened in 2012 See Manitowoc opens Brazilian plant the investment was said to be in the region of $30 million, with further investments anticipated as it worked towards greater capacity, with over 300 jobs originally anticipated by 2017, with substantially more indirect employment. The plant built Grove Rough Terrain cranes, which are also built in Shady Grove Pennsylvania and Niella Tanaro, Italy.
A statement said: “Although this is difficult news for our employees, suppliers, partners and the community at large, we are committed entirely to the execution of a smooth transition. In addition, we are working closely with the city, other government officials and union representatives to ensure a successful outcome for all involved”.