Daimler, Obama trumpet plan to build complete powertrains in 1 plant
President Obama at Detroit Diesel on Monday: “By putting everything together in one place, under one roof, Daimler engineers can design each part so it works better with the others."
Photo credit: Reuters
DETROIT -- Starting in 2015, Daimler AG says it will have the first North American plant to produce a fully integrated powertrain -- transmissions, axles and engines with turbochargers -- for commercial vehicles under one roof.
With President Obama on hand for the announcement Monday, Daimler said it will spend $120 million on its Detroit Diesel plant in suburban Redford, Mich. The expansion will create 115 jobs.
The plant makes engines, engine components and, since 2004, axles.
It will start building transmissions in late 2014 and turbochargers in early 2015, giving the plant full powertrain production, a Daimler Trucks spokesman wrote in an e-mail.
"A fully integrated powertrain from a single source is a decisive competitive advantage," said Martin Daum, CEO of Daimler Trucks North America, in a statement. "That is why we decided in favor of the Redford location, where our employees work hand in hand in one location. With this we are placing great confidence in the work force here."
In a campaign-style speech at the plant Monday, Obama praised Daimler for the investment.
"By putting everything together in one place, under one roof, Daimler engineers can design each part so it works better with the others. That means greater fuel efficiency for your trucks; it means greater savings for your customers," Obama said.
"That's a big deal. And it's just the latest example of Daimler's leadership on this issue."
It was the president's second trip to a Daimler commercial vehicle plant this year. In March, he visited a Freightliner truck production plant in North Carolina.
Daimler declined to comment on whether it plans to produce complete powertrains in a single factory for light vehicles, such as its Mercedes-Benz brand.