LADSON, SC — Freightliner LLC intends to divest its American LaFrance (ALF) fire and emergency services manufacturing business unit. Based in Ladson, ALF was acquired by the Freightliner organization in 1995 as part of a corporate expansion. ALF is the country’s fifth largest fire and emergency services vehicle producer. It currently operates six manufacturing facilities and five owned dealer locations across the United States and has a workforce of approximately 1,200 hourly and salaried employees. ALF produces and distributes a comprehensive line of fire and emergency apparatus including chassis, aerials, ambulances, pumpers, rescues, and tankers. Freightliner LLC President and CEO Chris Patterson said that, as part of DaimlerChrysler, Freightliner continuously reviews its product portfolio and business operation and that, as part of this review, has determined that the fire apparatus business will not continue as a core business of the group in future. He went on to say that while the successful buyer would be expected to acquire ALF’s manufacturing and distribution infrastructure, the Ladson facility was not part of the sale and would remain a DaimlerChrysler asset. The company intends to utilize the 460,000-square-foot plant and office building for other purposes in its commercial vehicle business. Two current ALF manufacturing facilities at Hamburg, New York, and Casper, Wyo., are to take on the production of bodies that are being transferred from Ladson as part of an internal restructuring program. Body production transfer work is scheduled to begin in October and completed by late this year. A major share of the affected jobs at Ladson (about 250 of the 528) is a result of this production transfer.