Truck engine maker Detroit Diesel Corp. (DDC) reports that sales of its emissions-compliant Series 60 product have exceeded expectations so far and it expects sales will grow as fleets realize they are just as reliable as earlier engines.
VP-marketing Tom Freiwald told Fleet Owner that DDC has shipped over 10,000 Series 60 engines equipped with exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) technology and has 11,000 more on order. That sales volume roughly translates into an engine build rate of 140 a day, Freiwald said.
That's below what the company considers a normal build rate -- a three-shift operation building over 200 engines a day -- but above the 50 to 60 engine-per-day volume DDC expected before last Oct. 1.
"We'd love to build more, but we're very happy with the volume we're seeing," Freiwald said. "We originally cut back to one shift because we thought orders would slow, but by December we had to call people back to work. The volume is much better than we originally expected."
Freiwald noted that despite some problems related to engine software programming, the Series 60 EGR engine is holding up very well in terms of performance and reliability. The new engines have an expected fuel penalty of 3 to 5% because of the EGR systems, Freiwald noted, but he said that hasn't stopped fleets from buying the engines.
"We've found that the larger fleets, predominantly truckload carriers, are the ones buying the new engines," he said. "Most of the larger truckload carriers tend to stick to their buying patterns since they buy so many trucks in a year. It's the smaller fleets that really can afford to look at the used market or extend their trade cycles."
Also, because the engines have performed so well, DDC doesn't plan to provide any uptime guarantee offerings like competitor Cummins Inc.