DEERFIELD — Caterpillar Inc. will close facilities in Texas and Panama as part of a plan that could eventually include the shuttering of an Illinois engine manufacturing plant and overall job losses of about 880 positions, according to a Reuters report.
The decision to close the facilities in Texas and Panama is final, and has been internally announced over the last two months, the company confirmed to Reuters.
The closures would be part of the company's strategy to focus on the most profitable segments of its business and invest in segments and services not as closely connected to the down cycles of end users of the equipment.
Progress Rail, a wholly owned subsidiary of Caterpillar, is considering closing its engine plant in LaGrange, which would impact about 600 full-time positions, mostly in manufacturing, the company also told Reuters.
Caterpillar closed or consolidated about 30 facilities around the world as part of a major restructuring announced in the fall of 2015 that also called for more than 10,000 jobs to be eliminated.
The restructuring plan was devised in response to the worst downturn in the company's history. From 2012 to 2016, sales and revenue declined more than 40 percent. Sales rebounded in 2017 and appear to be continuing on an upward trajectory in 2018.
The company's stock has rebounded, as well, and gained more than 1 percent to close at $156.46 per share on Friday.