LaGrange plant closure?

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LaGrange plant closure?

Postby Allen Hazen » Tue Mar 20, 2018 1:35 am

Recent news stories say that Progress Rail (subsidiary of Caterpillar) is thinking of closing its diesel engine manufacturing plant in La Grange, Illinois, possibly moving that work to a plant in North Carolina. ... story.html
My immediate suspicion on reading this is that it sounds like GE's transfer of its locomotive building operations from Erie to Texas: management using non-union southern labor to break northern unions. But I only know what I read in the papers.
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Re: LaGrange plant closure?

Postby Wayside » Tue Mar 20, 2018 6:18 am

I had the opportunity to tour the LaGrange facility in the early 90s. I found it fascinating -- and I was struck by how proud the workforce seemed to be of their product.
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Re: LaGrange plant closure?

Postby D40LF » Tue Mar 20, 2018 7:30 pm

Will they keep their R&D office in LaGrange? They do a lot of prototype testing and engineering work over there, in addition to the engine manufacturing. I wonder how Progress Rail's customers will feel about this.
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Re: LaGrange plant closure?

Postby bogieman » Fri Mar 23, 2018 9:32 pm

I don't think the customers care where the parts are manufactured, only the cost, availability, and performance.

There will be about 50 hourly employees left, most in the engineering development shop, when production ends at the end of this year. For now at least, the offices and most of engineering will remain in LaGrange but it won't be surprising if they move most of the salaried staff to Muncie. As someone who started there as an engineering co-op student 50 years ago and spent most of my career there, it's sad to see but was inevitable once the downsizing/outsourcing began in 1985.

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