Freightliner moving 341 jobs from Oregon to the Carolinas

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Freightliner LLC announced Thursday, Nov. 1, that it is moving about a tenth of its headquarters staff from Portland, Ore., to the Carolinas. The company said that 341 sales, marketing and support workers would go next year to northern South Carolina, near the company’s production facilities in North Carolina.

The company said it made the decision in order to be closer to its customers, suppliers and dealers. Freightliner has built trucks in Portland for 60 years, but last year the truck maker moved production of its Freightliner-brand trucks to plants in North Carolina and Mexico.

The affected employees will be moved in summer 2008 to a 150,000-square-foot office building in Ft. Mill, S.C., about 30 minutes south of Charlotte. Affected workers will have the option of transferring or receiving severance packages.

Freightliner’s corporate headquarters will continue to be based in Portland with a work force of 2,200 once the transfer is complete. Operations at the Western Star Manufacturing Plant on Swan Island, which employs 970, will not be affected.

Chris Patterson, Freightliner chief executive officer, said at a press conference that the company has options on land in South Carolina and did not rule out building a new corporate headquarters there “depending on the markets and our relationships with our affiliates.”