Fleetowner 4533 Freightliner 114sd

Daimler bringing medium-duty diesel to North America

Oct. 6, 2014
  SAN DIEGO, CA.  Having recently added a heavy-duty transmission to its existing Detroit Powertrain lineup of heavy-duty axles and engines, Daimler Truck North America will add medium-duty engines, according to Martin Daum, DTNA president and CEO.

SAN DIEGO, CA.  Having recently added a heavy-duty transmission to its existing Detroit Powertrain lineup of heavy-duty axles and engines, Daimler Trucks North America will add medium-duty engines, according to Martin Daum, DTNA president and CEO. Based on the newest generation of Mercedes-Benz MD diesels currently sold in Europe, the DD5 and DD8 will be introduced in Freightliner trucks in 2016, rolling out to the other DTNA brands Western Star, Thomas Built Buses and Freightliner Custom Chassis by 2018.

Although details weren’t available, Daum said the European engines would be reworked specifically for the North American market.

“We will not just take a European engine and plug it in [to a NA truck], but will take it and completely rework it for the North American market,” he said.

In addition to meeting U.S. emissions requirements, the new engines will also be ready to meet the 2017 greenhouse gas (GHG) emission standards when introduced in 2016, according to the company. That development work is already under way.

“I’ve already driven the first Americanized medium-duty and there's work to be done, but it me showed it’s potential,” Daum said.

As it did with the DT12 automated manual transmission, DTNA will initially manufacture the new MD engines in Europe and then move production to North America by 2018, according to Daum.  

“We’re bullish on the North American market, so we’re going to invest in medium-duty, too,” Daum said. As it does with its heavy-duty engines, axles and transmission, the company will continue to offer options from other suppliers, which in the case of both medium- and heavy-duty engines is Cummins. At present, Detroit engines account for 90% of the company’s heavy truck orders, but “the customers will eventually tell us what our market share will be” with the new MD diesels, he said.

About the Author

Jim Mele

Nationally recognized journalist, author and editor, Jim Mele joined Fleet Owner in 1986 with over a dozen years’ experience covering transportation as a newspaper reporter and magazine staff writer. Fleet Owner Magazine has won over 45 national editorial awards since his appointment as editor-in-chief in 1999.

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