OEMs set work force, capacity cuts as ’09 views dim

Nov 04, 2008 | 04:58 AM | Corinna Petry

Hammered by the effects of the current economic downturn, some major metals consumers have announced job reductions and/or capacity cuts in the past week, including appliance maker Whirlpool Corp., mining equipment manufacturer Terex Corp. and Tier 1 automotive supplier ArvinMeritor Inc.

"We are in the midst of a rapidly changing and very challenging economic environment," according to Jeff M. Fettig, chairman and chief executive officer of Benton Harbor, Mich.-based Whirlpool. "We have seen a sharp drop in demand in North America and Europe during the third quarter, and we do not expect demand conditions to improve in the near term."

The global credit crisis "has had a profound negative impact on what was already a weakening and very fragile global economy. Declining home values, rising unemployment and very low consumer confidence levels will likely prolong a negative demand environment at least through the middle of 2009," he said. As a result, "we have announced substantial cost and production capacity reductions to adjust our business cost structure to expected demand levels."....

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