Fire truck maker American LaFrance has shuttered its Moncks Corner manufacturing facility and two other locations, citing financial troubles.
SConfire.com reported that the company closed its doors Friday at 5 p.m., telling more than 150 employees their services were no longer needed.
In a written statement to employees obtained by firehouse.com, the 173-year-old manufacturer of fire, rescue and other emergency vehicles, announced it was closing its warehouse, production and service facilities in Moncks Corner; Ephrata, Pa.; and Los Angeles.
“Unfortunately, the company’s unexpected current financial condition requires the discontinuation of operations in these locations at this time and these facilities are not expected to reopen,” the statement read.
Germany’s DaimlerChrysler AG moved American LaFrance to the Charleston region in 2002, projecting it would hire 800 employees within two years and crank out 4,500 fire trucks, ambulances and other vehicles annually. It never approached those numbers.
The investment firm Patriarch Partners bought the business in 2005. It moved its headquarters and main assembly plant from North Charleston to Summerville in mid-2007.
The company filed for bankruptcy protection in January 2008 after having lost $104 million over the previous two years. It also blamed a difficult transition between owners. It emerged from bankruptcy a few months later.
American LaFrance announced in January 2013 that it was seeking to relocate under a plan to “streamline” its business. The company moved in August from its 450,000-square-foot Summerville factory to a 103,000-square-foot building at 164 Spring Grove Road, off Cypress Gardens Road in Moncks Corner.