Tammy Mutasa, NBC 5 Garland Reporter
Navistar International is closing a truck plant in Garland and eliminating 900 jobs. The company says it could save up to $35 million a year by closing the plant.
Navistar International Corp. has announced plans to close its Dallas-area truck plant, eliminating 900 jobs.
Illinois-based Navistar said the Garland facility would cease operations by the first half of 2013.
The company on Tuesday cited the planned closure as part of efforts to save money and optimize its manufacturing operations. Navistar anticipates annual cost savings of up to $35 million with the closure.
Employees such as Douglas Wickham spent Wednesday reflecting on what to do next.
"It's nerve-racking because we all have to go out and look for jobs and people have been there for five years, 10 years, 15 years, you know, so it's nerve-racking," he said. "It's always going to be upsetting, but it is what it is."
President Troy Clarke said Navistar has too much manufacturing capacity in North America.
"Closing a facility is always difficult because of its impact on the many great people who've been part of our company," Clarke said in a statement. "But the fact is that Navistar has too much manufacturing capacity in North America, and we must take quick action to improve our business and position the company for long-term success."
Navistar and its affiliates make International-brand trucks, diesel engines, buses and recreational vehicles.
The Garland plant has been on Forest Lane since 1997 and was one of the city's biggest employers.
"It is a blow, there is no way to disguise that," said Paul Mayer, Garland Chamber of Commerce CEO. "We've been ecstatic about Navistar for the 15 years. They've grown that business in Garland to 150 trucks a day and it's unfortunate."
With 400 manufacturers in Garland,
Garland, which has 400 manufacturers, said Navistar workers would not be turned loose on their own. Several companies are already calling to help, and the economic development team will bring in a month another company that will hire 200 people.
"Already this morning, we've received requests from about a half a dozen of our companies that want to hire those folks," Mayer said. "Garland will be resilient."