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Daimler Trucks to add 1,200 jobs in U.S. by September

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Daimler Trucks will hire 1,200 new workers by September in North Carolina to add a second shift at its largest Freightliner vehicle manufacturing plant and boost staff at a nearby components plant.

Freight volume is back up to pre-crisis levels, and vehicle fleets are now being gradually replaced after not having been modernized for several years, the company said in a statement on Thursday.

"The demand growth particularly benefits heavy-duty long-haulage trucks, creating backorders as long as six months for the Freightliner Cascadia model," Daimler added.

Staffing levels at Freightliner's Cleveland, North Carolina, plant will rise to over 2,700 from approximately 1,600 as a result of the move. Another 100 jobs will be added at a components and logistics plant in nearby Gastonia.

The Cleveland plant builds Class 8 heavy-duty truck models like the Cascadia, Columbia and the Argosy.

Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) said it sold almost 55 percent more vehicles than last year, bringing its market share to 32.7 percent as of October.

In response to increased demand for Freightliner and Western Star brand trucks, DTNA had already increased its workforce by around 3,000 employees at various truck manufacturing facilities in the U.S. and Mexico last year.

DTNA competes most closely with Volvo's Mack brand, Paccar's Kenworth and Peterbilt as well as Navistar's International marque.

(Reporting by Christiaan Hetzner)

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