Daimler to bring medium engine production to Detroit

Holly Fournier
The Detroit News

Redford Township — Daimler Trucks plans to invest $375 million to bring production of medium-duty engines to its manufacturing facility in the Detroit area.

The announcement came Friday as officials also announced an additional $100 million investment to produce automated transmissions at Detroit Diesel Corp. in Redford Township.

“It is my pleasure to announce the start of production of the automatic transmission DT12, right here in the United States, right here in Detroit, right here in Redford,” Daimler Trucks and Buses CEO Wolfgang Bernhard said. “We now manufacture the entire power train lineup. That means we can integrate, synchronize, make it perfect. We can offer the most powerful power train in the country.”

The complete power train includes the new transmission as well as a DD15 heavy-duty engine and axles already manufactured at the plant, officials said.

Former Detroit Red Wing and color commentator Mickey Redmond kicked off the “Built in Detroit” event Friday, welcoming Bernhard, Gov. Rick Snyder, Daimler Trucks North America CEO Martin Daum, Roger Penske and others.

He saved his highest praise for the large crowd of employees gathered for the event.

“You guys are in the trenches every day, you are getting the job done,” Redmond said. “Keep it up. You are the soul of Detroit.”

The new transmission was unveiled alongside the DD15 heavy-duty engine and axles as loud, spirited music played and the event stage walls swiveled to reveal the parts.

“That, Mickey, is our hat trick,” said Daum as dozens in the crowd tossed baseball caps toward the stage.

Officials on Friday also touted the launch of the DD5 and DD8 medium-duty engines.

“Today’s news shows we put our money where our mouth is, we do what we say, we walk the talk,” Bernhard said.

The new transmissions will add 170 “highly qualified” jobs to a factory currently employing around 2,360 workers, officials said. Production of the medium-duty engines will employ 160 workers.

Snyder helped unveil the new DD5 medium-duty engine, hitched to a cart he rode into the room as music played over loudspeakers. Snyder immediately praised the factory employees.

“Look to your left; look to your right,” he said. “You’re seeing the most productive people in the world.”

Prior to the announcements, officials led media and visitors on a brief tour Friday of the 3.2 million-square-foot, 78-year-old plant, including stops at quality control and the turbo assembly room.


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