January 31, 2009 3:05:02 pm
Heavy equipment maker Caterpillar Inc announced 2,110 new job cuts today as it scales back production to match lower demand in a slowing global economy.
The world’s largest maker of mining and construction machinery said the layoffs at three Illinois plants in Aurora,Decatur and East Peoria — and other cost-cutting measures were needed to maintain competitiveness.
Like other large manufacturers,Caterpillar has seen its key markets undercut by weakening sales of large equipment as companies reduce spending.
The layoffs add to job cuts announced Monday that totaled 20,000. That day,the Peoria,Illinois,company reported a 32 per cent drop in fourth-quarter profit as slumping commodity prices,tight credit markets and a decline in construction hurt orders for its backhoes,tractors and other machines.
Bob Williams,Caterpillar’s vice president for the Americas Operations Division,said in statement that “over the last few months,recessionary conditions have had a very negative impact on our customers.”
Caterpillar,he said,”must drastically reduce our production levels and cost structure to remain competitive for the long run.”
Caterpillar,with about 113,000 employees worldwide,has expanded dramatically in recent years,helped by surging demand from infrastructure projects in developing countries.
At the end of 2008,the company employed 11,500 more people than it did a year earlier.
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