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American LaFrance to Consolidate Firetruck Manufacturing Operations in South Carolina

Truck manufacturer American LaFrance will consolidate its firetruck manufacturing operations at its facility in Summerville, South Carolina, according to the Post and Courier of Charleston. The company will close plants in Hamburg, New York, and Ephrata, Pennsylvania, as part of the consolidation. South Carolina commerce officials say that American LaFrance plans to invest $1.69 million at the Summerville facility and will create 216 new jobs over the next three to five years to accommodate future growth. The Charleston Regional Business Journal says the Summerville plant currently manufactures chassis for firetrucks and garbage trucks and will now also produce the firetruck bodies. "A lot of our revenue is generated off of municipalities, and a lot of cuts have occurred in municipal budgets this year due to the economy. We expect that to go into next year" says Richard Ball, an American LaFrance spokesperson, quoted in the Journal. "When we looked at our facilities, preparing for the future, it became unfortunately obvious we would have to shut down some of the facilities." Ball tells the Journal that the company received incentives such as job development tax credits from local government agencies to consolidate the operations in South Carolina.

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