Navistar Chatham Closing Continues To Be Costly

(CHATHAM, ON) – Navistar International Corporation, which once operated a tractor assembly plant in Chatham-Kent, has announced a first quarter 2018 net loss of $73 million. This compares to a net loss of $62 million in the previous year. Approximately 10% of the quarter’s loss, or $7 million, is related to restructuring charges stemming from its closure of the Chatham-Kent factory.

The plant was idled in 2009, formally shuttered in 2011, and then demolished in 2013.

Other losses in the quarter include an additional $7 million generated in its core truck manufacturing business, although this was an improvement from a $69 million loss in the same period a year ago. The drop in the loss was primarily driven by the impact of higher sales volumes in the company’s core markets, a decrease in used truck losses, and an increase in military sales which were partially offset by higher structural costs.

Last year, laid-off workers at the Chatham-Kent plant won a decision by an Ontario arbitrator which called for $35 million in pension and severance relief.

The loss of the Chatham Navistar plant ultimately led to the closing of the University of Windsor-International Truck and Engine Centre for Innovation, which had been relocated to Deziel Drive in Windsor from a location in Ohio.

The innovation centre housed prototype assembly bays, an engine test area, a fabrication shop, and two mock assembly lines suitable for research into lean manufacturing. It was a key component of automotive research then being conducted in the city.

The building is now home to Ultimate Manufactured Systems, a non-related company.

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Robert Tuomi
After initially succeeding as a broadcast journalist and achieving senior level assignments, Robert branched out into marketing communications. As a senior executive, primarily in the high-tech industry, Robert created award-winning and comprehensive, multi-faceted initiatives to enhance sales and expand market awareness for some of the largest companies in their fields. Email Robert Tuomi