Caterpillar Closing Gosselies Facility?

By pdamon06 September 2016

Caterpillar Inc. said it is considering moving the production at its facility in Gosselies, Belgium, to other manufacturing facilities. The Gosselies plant primarily manufactures construction equipment, specifically excavators and larger front-end loaders.

Cat said, “this announcement starts an information and consultation process, which could result in the closure of the Gosselies site and a collective lay-off. Cat said the announcement is in connection with the global restructuring and cost savings plan announced in September 2015.”

In its announcement, Cat said, “Following extensive review, Caterpillar is contemplating to allocate the volumes that are produced at the Gosselies facility to the manufacturing facility in Grenoble, France, and to other manufacturing facilities outside Europe. It is also contemplated to allocate component production to external suppliers and other Caterpillar facilities and to consolidate support functions to other sites.

If this intention would be confirmed, it would result in a collective lay-off of about 2,000 employees and in the closure of the Gosselies site.”

“We have to contemplate actions to reduce manufacturing capacity and take operating costs out of our business to align with lower demand. Should the intention be confirmed, we will support the local leadership in order to mitigate the impact on our employees, their families and the communities where we’re located,” said Tom Pellette, group president with responsibility for Construction Industries.

This would be a big deal for Cat.  For many years Gosselies was the jewel, or one of the jewels, in the company’s global manufacturing footprint.  It was for many years considered as Cat’s flagship operations for construction equipment in Europe.  While not official, much of the speculation is that closing the facility is all but a done deal.

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