Daimler Announces Plans To Bring Detroit Medium-Duty Engine Line To US
Daimler says “Built in Detroit” is more than a marketing slogan for their company. Just last month Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) announced its intention to begin producing its new DD5 and DD8 medium-duty Detroit engines at a plant in Redford, Michigan, which is outside Detroit.
At the same time, they officially launched production of their Detroit DT12 automated manual transmission. This move follows a formal commitment made by Daimler in 2012 when President Obama toured their Redford production facility for heavy-duty Detroit engines.
To build the new engines, Daimler is investing $375 million in their Redford powertrain plant. The expansion will create 160 new jobs. This is in addition to the company’s $100 million investment, made to enable production of the DT12 automated powertrain. That expansion created 170 new jobs.
Wolfgang Bernhard, the member of Daimler AG’s Board of Management who oversees trucks and buses, says these investments are examples of the company’s philosophy of “maximizing the use of our global platforms optimized for regional markets.” Bernhard says Daimler Truck North America is committed to strengthening Detroit’s industrial base and delivering the most fuel-efficient engines to customers.
Building on a strong tradition
“The success of our integrated powertrain for heavy-duty vehicles in the US is phenomenal,” Bernhard continues. “Already, over 40% of the Freightliner Cascadia models are supplied with the DT12 automated manual transmission. So, naturally, it makes sense to now also produce this bestseller locally.” Bernhard is convinced that the new medium-duty Detroit engines “will repeat the success story of our best-selling heavy-duty engines.”
The 5-liter DD5 and 8-liter DD8 are the latest additions to Daimler’s new-generation line of medium-duty diesel engines. They were originally unveiled three years ago in Europe.
Global testing and validation processes for the new DD5 and DD8 engines have been underway in Europe as well as the United States for some time now. In the near term, Daimler’s powertrain factory in Mannheim, Germany will continue to build the engines, then they will be shipped to the US. The Detroit facility is expected to take over full production by the end of 2018.
Look for the new engines within a year
Daimler says the DD5 and DD8 engines will be available in certain truck models as of late 2016. These vehicles, as well as all other DTNA products, are ahead of schedule in meeting federal 2017 greenhouse gas and fuel economy standards.
The DD5 will initially be offered for Freightliner M2 products, but by 2018 will be extensively available in Daimler Truck North America Freightliner and Western Star trucks as well as Freightliner Custom Chassis vehicles and Thomas Built Buses. As of now, Cummins provides the power behind DTNA’s medium-duty engines. These engines will still be available as an option.