In October 2002, the U. S. owned company announced it was shutting down its Canadian facility to save more than $40 million in operational costs. The move was to leave 2,200 Canadian plant workers unemployed.
After protracted negotiations with the local union, backed by the Canadian government, Navistar opted to keep the Chatham plant operating.
Oziel Salinas Arizpe, General Manager at the Escobedo plant, said it was ready to increase operations by 60% over current capacity but, "it’s turned out to be a project that just wasn't to be."
Since it began operations in 1998, the Escobedo plant has churned out more than 50,000 light and heavy trucks. Manufacturer plans are to increase its capacity in 2004.
"The Escobedo plant continues to be very strong. In fact," says Salinas Arizpe, "we are Mexico's largest truck exporter."