Caterpillar, the world’s largest construction equipment manufacturer, will cut about 1,400 jobs at a plant near Charleroi, Belgium, because of high costs and the weak European economy, according to Reuters, the Globe and Mail and other news outlets. The jobs will be cut at Cat’s Gosselies site, near Charleroi, one of the largest Caterpillar facilities in Europe, where 3,700 people are employed. The factory manufactures hydraulic excavators, loading vehicles and engine parts.
Apart from the economic slowdown in Europe and increased competition, Caterpillar said its products faced different environmental rules in different parts of the world, complicating its production process. The company said the costs of production in Belgium are so high — including the high cost of labor and taxes — it would be cheaper to import machines from elsewhere. Caterpillar has invested about €210 million in the facility (about U.S. $275 million).