Phase out of Figgie’s American LaFrance facility

Phase out of Figgie’s American LaFrance facility

Due to prolonged periods of unprofitability, Figgie International has decided to phase out its American LaFrance division in Elmira, NY, but will continue to operate the division’s six service centers. The company’s Elmira facility will remain open through the first half of 1985 or until it fulfills its orders for equipment.

The service centers in Dunmore, PA; Pittsburgh, PA; Rialto, CA; Wooddale, IL; Atlanta, GA; and Fort Worth, TX, will remain open permanently to handle warranties, parts and service, major repairs, and vehicle retrofits.

American LaFrance has been suffering from a declining market share and substantial operating losses for the last three years due to increased competition, high manufacturing and operating costs, and the failure of a design firm to develop new, lower cost products.

Figgie had initiated major cost reductions, diversification programs, and layoffs in an effort to turn American LaFrance into a profitable operation.

According to James S. Anderson, Figgie’s vice-president of industrial relations, company officials would welcome discussions with employees and/or community leaders to explore ways in which the facility could continue to operate. The shutdown will affect about 320 employees.

A company spokesman was unable to say whether Figgie was receiving and/or considering bids for its Elmira facility.

American LaFrance, officially organized in 1900, stemmed from a merger of American Engine Company and LaFrance Manufacturing Company, and has been manufacturing fire apparatus since 1832.

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