Daimler Sets Plan to Boost U.S. Production

Daimler Trucks North America will invest $120 million to build two new assembly lines for production of transmissions and turbochargers at a factory in Redford, Mich., a move that will add hundreds of jobs, the company said.

The announcement was made on the same day President Obama visited the plant.

By the time transmissions begin rolling out of the factory in late 2015, as many as 250 new jobs — including 170 manufacturing positions — will be added to the plant, said DTNA president Martin Daum. The facility, which already employs about 2,300 workers, currently produces engines sold under the company’s Detroit brand. DTNA makes Freightliner trucks and vans, and Western Star trucks.

Daum said this will be the first time Daimler has manufactured transmissions outside of its home country of Germany. Currently, all Daimler truck transmissions are produced at a plant in Gaggenau, Germany. The company also plans to produce turbochargers at the Redford factory.

“If you want to make the best cars and trucks in the world . . . you should invest in the United States of America,” Obama told several hundred cheering workers during an appearance at the plant.

The move is part of Daum’s self-declared “mission to convert the North American truck market to automated manual transmissions,” which he said offer great fuel-efficiency gains over manual units.

DTNA already has announced plans to market a new AMT here designed for the higher highway speeds in North America, and has several customers trying them out.

Daum said planning already has begun on the Redford AMT line, which will have an initial capacity of 30,000 units per year.

© 2012, Transport Topics Publishing Group. All rights reserved.

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