Bobcat Company is idling 2,000 North Dakota workers for six weeks starting in December.
Bobcat North America President Rich Goldsbury said a housing downturn and the credit crunch have dried up demand for skid steer loaders.
Goldsbury said he's hopeful the market will improve early next year, but he said the situation is very uncertain. "The government is attempting action with some of the credit infusions they've had into some of the banks in North America. Hopefully that will have a positive affect. But I'll tell you that we've felt the brunt of that. The banks are pulling in their horns a little bit," Goldsberry said.
The company is closing two plants in Gwinner and Bismarck.
Goldsbury said the first two quarters of next year will be critical indicators for Bobcat sales.