Detroit Diesel expects engine sales to grow in ’05

Detroit Diesel expects engine sales to grow in ’05

LOUISVILLE, KY. Carsten Reinhardt, president & CEO of Detroit Diesel Corp. (DDC) is bullish about engines sales for 2005 – to the point where he believes the engine lines DDC manages will see growth of between 30% and 55% this year.

“We’ve seen huge demand for our engines and of their use in Freightliner trucks,” he said here at the Mid-America Trucking Show. “We’re targeting to grow our Series 60 sales by 30% this year to 68,940 units, with sales of Mercedes-Benz’s MBE 4000 to grow 38% to 24,050 units and MBE 900 to grow 55% to 34,000 units.”

Reinhardt said that as a sister company of Freightliner in the DaimlerChrysler corporation, DDC is seeing a huge increase in the number of its units being placed in service with Freightliner vehicles – all part of DaimlerChrysler’s vertical integration strategy.

“In 2002, 59.6% of Freightliner trucks had DDC or MBE engines; last year that reached 76.4% and we expect it to top 81% this year.”

He did note that the venerable Series 60 will have to be replaced by a new family of engines as the 2007 and 2010 emission rules come into play.

“The only way to really meet those emission targets, maintain fuel economy, performance and reliability is really to start with a new engine line, built from the ground up,” he explained. He said DDC’s new engine line, which represents $1 billion in investment from DaimlerChrysler, will feature four displacements: 14.8-, 15.6-, 12.8-, and 9.9-liter configurations. “This is the first time we’ll have a 15.6-liter option – it’ll allow us to play in the big bore market.”

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