As announced on 16 July 2020, the machine manufacturer Caterpillar will close its plants in Lünen and Wuppertal by the end of 2021, causing 550 redundancies in total. Around 275 employees (50% of the staff) at both plants will be dismissed by 31 December 2020, while the remaining 275 will continue working until the closure on 31 December 2021. Some 100 employees have already signed severance agreements, while the remaining employees will have access to a transfer company and early-retirement programmes. Several employee representatives advocated for a continuation of both plants, but Caterpillar rejected all offers to save the plants.
Causes for the closure remain unclear – according to IG Metall, Caterpillar intends to relocate production to Indonesia.