Deere to move tractor cab assembly from Iowa to Mexico

Deere Shown is the John Deere 8R 410 row crop tractor. (Photo: Chad Elmore)

In a move toward consolidation, Deere & Co. has announced plans to shift its tractor cab production from its Tractor and Cab Assembly Operations in Waterloo, Iowa, to the Ramos Component Works in Ramos Arizpe, Mexico.

According to a statement by the company, moving cab production will help it balance workforce needs given the tight labor market, while opening up floor space at the Waterloo facility to add new product programs. It did not provide any indication of the types of new products that might be produced at the facility.

The company plans for the move to be completed by the end of FY 2024. Of the more than 1,500 workers at the Waterloo plant, roughly 250 production employees could be affected, depending on production volumes and employee attrition over the next two years. However, a UAW Local 838 spokesperson stated no layoff notifications have been issued at this time.

While concerns were expressed that a five-week strike at Deere plants last fall may have played a role in the company’s decision, an article in the Des Moines Register cited Peter Orazem, an Iowa State University labor economist, as stating the tight labor market in the state was a likely a key concern in the decision to shift cab production elsewhere.

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