CHICAGO FreightCar America Inc. has subleased roughly 25
percent of Navistar International Corp.s Cherokee, Ala.,
Opened in 2008 in the Shoals region of Alabama, the space is
effective for building a variety of rail car types, FreightCar
president and chief executive officer Ed Whalen said.
The company is preparing the plant for production, with the
first deliveries of new rail cars expected in the second half
of the year. When fully operational, the facility will be able
to build more than 7,000 rail cars annually.
The company signed agreements with Navistar for the supply of
parts and production support services, and the purchase of
production equipment at the Cherokee plant. FreightCar will
invest up to $23 million to redesign and equip the facility.
We continue to expand our rail car product and service
offerings outside of our traditional coal car market. While our
existing facilities will continue to support our coal products,
the Alabama facility will allow us to produce a broader variety
of rail cars, Whalen said. The facility layout,
automated production equipment, proximity to key suppliers and
new supply agreements will increase our flexibility and make us
more competitive in the marketplace.
FreightCar Americas net income totaled $19.1 million last
year, nearly quadruple that of 2011, on revenue that jumped
39.1 percent to $677.4 million.