Italian truck maker Iveco will close five truck plants in three European countries by the end of 2012 as it consolidates its manufacturing base to become more competitive in a region where demand for heavy vehicles has dropped as a result of the crisis.
According to Fiat director Alfredo Altavilla, plants in France’s Chambery, Austria’s Graz and Germany’s Weisweill, Goerlitz and Ulm will close.
The closures will affect 1,075 employees, said Altavilla, speaking at the launch of Iveco’s new Stralis truck.
‘These are painful closures but they will boost our overall business. We have not however cut our investment,’ he said.
‘When the markets recover we will be ready.’
Altvavilla said he would provide a cost savings figure during the company’s conference call for its second-quarter results on July 30.
In the first five months of the year, heavy-truck sales in the region fell 6.3%, according to the latest industry figures.
Registrations fell 17.8 percent year-on-year in May. Sales have been falling steadily since December last year. The UK was the only market to post growth during the month. Italian market plunged 42.4 percent in May.
In May Iveco’s subsidiary Camiva announced that it would close a plant in southeastern France. The 171 employees were expected to be deployed.
Iveco is controlled by Fiat Industrial.