Western Star Trucks has announced details about the transition of its manufacturing and other operations to Portland OR. The company is making a $16-million investment to prepare the Portland Truck Manufacturing Plant for Western Star heavy-duty truck production. In addition, Western Star engineering, manufacturing, customer support and other technical staff are relocating to Portland. Production of Western Star trucks in Portland begins in October 2002.
The Portland plant is undergoing major renovations to prepare for Western Star production. The company is building dedicated cab, chassis, and sleeper lines for the Western Star product as well as an E-coat system. Western Star is conducting a training program for Portland plant employees that includes development of task instructions and training courses.
These personnel will relocate to Portland:
Carsten Reinhardt, currently general manager of operations for Western Star in Kelowna, British Columbia, will become general manager of the Portland plant.
Wayne LaRochelle, currently plant manager at Kelowna, will become director of manufacturing for Western Star in Portland.
Tony McParland, quality assurance manager for Western Star, will retain his position and relocate to Portland.
The engineering group of Western Star also will remain distinct and will relocate to Portland. Cary Gatzke, a 17-year Western Star veteran in the engineering area, will lead the Portland-based Western Star engineering team.
Western Star has convened a Transition Advisory Group composed of customers and dealers from the United States and Canada. The group convened early this year and will continue to meet leading up to and after Western Star's move to Portland.
Production of Western Star trucks in Kelowna will continue through September 2002.