In response to slow domestic sales, Sweden-based Volvo Group’s construction equipment division is winding down its 400,000 sq-ft factory in Asheville, N.C. and shifting production to other plants around the world. Production of wheel loaders will move to Arvika, Sweden; excavators will move to Changwon, South Korea. The plant is scheduled to close on March 31, and the company will lay off 228 employees. Some will be offered relocation to its Shippensburg, Pa., plant, which will also produce motor grader cabs, formerly made in Asheville. The current U.S. market “didn’t justify” having two equipment plants, says Beatrice Cardon, vice president
The market is generally healthy and steadily growing, and margins are up for large specialty contractors. Further, advances in design tools and owner demand for collaboration are giving subcontractors a seat at the table early on in projects.