Nationwide rail traffic prompts layoffs at auto export facility in Aberdeen
A nationwide shortage of trains has prompted huge cuts in staffing at the Pasha Automotive Group in Aberdeen. General Manager Matt Rausch [rash] tells KBKW that layoffs in the auto export business are not unusual – and not the first for Grays Harbor, but this time it’s mostly due to a shortage of rail cars and locomotives used to transport Chryslers from their Ohio plant.
Rausch said over the past 2 weeks they’ve laid off 55 employees, while others have been relocated, and about 20 remain at their detailing and body shop in Aberdeen. If they get cars for their automobiles, they hope to have everyone back mid-June.
Rausch said “Chrysler is looking at getting a dedicated line for us, but the shortage has affected shipments,” adding that Pasha is shipping from their East coast sites, including a new facility in Portsmouth. “The Virginia and Baltimore shipments take a lot longer to get to the Asian markets, but we’re still expecting record exports from Grays Harbor for 2014.” Rausch noted that the Aberdeen site exported a record 104-thousand Jeeps and Chryslers in 2013, and they are on track to export a projected 112-thousand this year.