DaimlerChrysler‘s Freightliner truck division reportedly plans to build a $300m truck manufacturing plant in Saltillo, Coahuila, in northern Mexico.

Reuters said the new facility would be dedicated to the production of Freightliner and Sterling trucks, and will help the company accommodate an expected upturn in industry demand in 2009 prior to the next round of EPA emissions regulations.

But the news agency noted that the move comes as Freightliner prepares for North American job cuts of up to 4,000 in 2007 due to the expected downturn in heavy truck building.

Commercial truck production soared this year as new regulations go into effect in 2007, which will add costs, prompting buyers of heavy trucks to pull orders forward to this year, the report added.

The next round of new emissions regulations goes into effect in 2010, and another rush in truck orders is expected ahead of that, Reuters said.

Freightliner president and chief executive Chris Patterson said in a statement cited by the news agency that the truck maker wants to be ready to meet the surge in demand.

“Frankly, we were not able to produce what we could have sold in 2006 due to capacity constraints,” he said, according to Reuters.