NEW YORK – Altria Group, Inc. announced Tuesday the closure of Philip Morris’ Cabarrus, N.C., manufacturing facility and the consolidation of manufacturing for the U.S. market at its Richmond, Va, manufacturing center.
Altria said the closing was the result of the decision to move U.S.-based cigarette production for non-U.S. markets to Philip Morris International (PMI) facilities in Europe.
PMI is expected to shift sourcing of approximately 57 billion cigarettes from Cabarrus to Europe by the third quarter of 2008 and will shutter the Cabarrus plant by the end of 2010.
Approximately 2,500 employees work at the Cabarrus facility.
Philip Morris USA said it plans to source its production of cigarettes sold in the U.S. from its manufacturing facility in Richmond.
"PM USA recognizes the profound impact the closing of the Cabarrus cigarette manufacturing facility has on employees and their families. As the company works to reduce manufacturing overcapacity, it will address the adverse impact on employees by relocating as many as possible to jobs in Richmond and offering separation benefits to those it cannot relocate," said Mike Szymanczyk, chairman and chief executive officer of PM USA. "It is my hope that the majority of employees at Cabarrus will be able to relocate to Richmond."