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Navistar halting Mississippi production plant

Jason Cannon June 21, 2013

Navistar Defense says it will suspend production at its plant in West Point, Miss.

Company spokeswoman Lauren McFarland told the Clarion-Ledger the decision was made based waning demand spurred by sweeping federal budget cuts, adding the 80 workers at the plant were notified Thursday. The last day for production and for most workers at the facility will be July 5.

“The sequester along with the pending drawdown of operations in Afghanistan, have led to a depleted order board, which requires us to make the difficult decision to suspend production at the West Point facility,” she told the newspaper.

The West Point plant opened five years ago and initially assembled the company’s MRAP — mine resistant vehicles — that helped better protect soldiers against roadside bombs and other explosive devices in Iraq and Afghanistan. In recent years, the plant grew to produce other related vehicles, such as armored tow trucks and ambulances.