Daimler Trucks makes US$475m investment in Detroit

Michigan plant will be producing Daimler transmission and engines by 2018 to reduce construction times

Daimler Trucks makes US$475m investment in Detroit
The DT12 features in the Western Star 5700 XE.


Daimler Trucks has made a US$475 million investment in Detroit to localise the production of the DT12 automated transmission and the DD5 and DD8 medium-duty truck engines.

The truck maker says $100 million will go towards to the DT12, creating 170 new jobs at the Redford plant, while the remaining $375 million will bring the DD5 and DD8 engines to American trucks and 160 new jobs by 2018.

Speaking in Redford, Dr Wolfgang Bernhard, member of the Daimler AG board of management responsible for Daimler Trucks & Buses, says the company is making the investment on the back of Freightliner and Western Star success in the NAFTA market.

"The success of our integrated powertrain for heavy-duty vehicles in the US is phenomenal: Already, over 40 per cent 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."

Used in the heavy-duty Cascadia and Western Star 5700 XE trucks, the DT12 transmissions have previously been built at the Mercedes-Benz plant in Gaggenau, Germany and shipped across to the US, extending waiting times for customers.

Bring the whole production of Daimler powertrains in-house, Daimler says, could save over 50 per cent of production costs and improve manufacturing efficiencies.

Aiding in the efficiency boost will be the production of the DD5 and DD8, four- and six-cylinder Euro 6 engines that will be available across the complete truck range from 2016, and locally from 2018.

A Mercedes-Benz aggregate-plant in Mannheim, Germany, will fill the gap before the plant begins full production.

"I am really excited, that in the future we will also produce our medium-duty engines DD5 and DD8 here," Bernhard says.

"This is a major step in executing our global platform strategy."


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