As part of a $275-million renovation of the Detroit Diesel Corp. (DDC) manufacturing facility in Redford, MI, Freightliner LLC will move the headquarters for its Sterling Truck Corp. and Western Star Trucks business units from their current Willoughby, OH, location to the upgraded campus this spring.
The expanded Redford facility will also house manufacturing of the all-new heavy-duty diesel engine line slated for launch in '07. That engine is currently under development by Detroit Diesel and its parent operation, DaimlerChrysler's (DC) Commercial Vehicles Division, also the parent of Freightliner LLC.
Redford will be the first facility to build the new engine, which will see its first application in North America. By 2010 the engine will be manufactured globally for use in all DC markets.
Initially the new engine will be offered along with the Detroit Diesel Series 60 engine in heavy-duty vehicles produced by business units of Freightliner, according to Rainer Schmueckle, president & CEO of Freightliner LLC. The Series 60 will be phased out of production sometime before 2010.
Additional Redford plans call for the installation of a new assembly line for the medium-duty MBE 900 diesel truck engine by 2007 and expansion of manufacturing operations for Axle Alliance Co. (AAC), the business unit that supplies Freightliner with proprietary axles.
Manufacturing activities for the particulate filter maker Purem may also be moved to the Redford facility.
“With the new investment in the DDC Redford complex — including the strategic location of new heavy-duty engine production, the addition of MBE 900 assembly and the advent of AAC — the Redford facility is becoming the group's commercial vehicle component manufacturing center,” says Schmueckle.
“We are assembling significant future capability to design and manufacture a variety of key components for North American commercial vehicles here at Redford,” Schmueckle says.
Manufacturing operations for Sterling Trucks will remain at St. Thomas, Ontario, while Western Star Trucks will continue to be produced in Portland, OR.