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  September 19th, 2016 | Written by

Caterpillar Contemplates Closing Belgium Manufacturing Facility

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  • Caterpillar's Gosselies plant primarily manufactures construction equipment.
  • Caterpillar is contemplating shifting manufacturing volumes to Grenoble, France, and to facilities outside Europe.
  • Closure of Caterpillar Gosselies site would result in lay-off of 2,000 employees.

Caterpillar Inc. has announced it is contemplating closing its production facility in Gosselies, Belgium, and shifting production to other manufacturing facilities.

The announcement starts an information and consultation process, which could result in the closure of the Gosselies site and a collective lay-off. This announcement is in connection with the global restructuring and cost savings plan announced in September 2015.

The Gosselies plant primarily manufactures construction equipment.

Following extensive review, Caterpillar is contemplating to allocate the volumes that are produced at the Gosselies facility to the manufacturing facility in Grenoble, France, and to other manufacturing facilities outside Europe. It is also contemplated to allocate component production to external suppliers and other Caterpillar facilities and to consolidate support functions to other sites. If this intention is executed, it would result in the lay-off of about 2,000 employees and in the closure of the Gosselies site.

“We have to contemplate actions to reduce manufacturing capacity and take operating costs out of our business to align with lower demand,” said Tom Pellette, group president with responsibility for construction industries. “Should the intention be confirmed, we will support the local leadership in order to mitigate the impact on our employees, their families and the communities where we’re located.”

During the upcoming information and consultation process, Caterpillar says it is committed to comply with the applicable laws and to engage in a constructive dialogue with the employee representatives in order to minimize the social impact.

With 2015 sales and revenues of $47 billion, Caterpillar is the world’s leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, industrial gas turbines and diesel-electric locomotives. The company principally operates through its three product segments—construction industries, resource industries, and energy and transportation—and also provides financing and related services through its financial products segment.