Detroit Commemorates 85 Years of Manufacturing Excellence

Redford, Mich. (Sept. 21, 2023) – Detroit, a leader in North American engine technology for commercial vehicles, and a part of Daimler Truck North America (DTNA), is proud to mark its 85th anniversary as a notable journey of growth and innovation. From humble beginnings at its flagship facility in Redford, Michigan, the company has thrived thanks to its exceptional products, first-class engineering, innovation, and contributions of its talented and dedicated workforce.

Founded in 1938 as part of General Motors, GM Diesel Division, Detroit set out with one focus: crafting top-tier engines for heavy- and medium-duty trucks. Over the decades, it expanded its product line to encompass more than state-of-the-art engines, including automated manual transmission, axles, battery-electric components for zero-emission vehicles, and cutting-edge technologies for enhanced connectivity and safety.

To date, Detroit has produced 1.1 million heavy-duty engines (DD13, DD15, DD16) and employs nearly 3,000 Daimler Truck employees. Detroit continues to achieve milestones in manufacturing with the goal of ensuring all products and services provide a comprehensive solution to meet the ever-evolving needs of customers.

Detroit’s commitment to environmental sustainability is evident through its partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Superior Energy Performance (SEP) program, with the Redford campus achieving the prestigious SEP 50001+ platinum level status. Daimler Truck North America, DTE Energy and the state of Michigan also recently announced partnering to build a federally funded charging hub located next to the Redford campus to provide a more accessible charging infrastructure to those within the industry. 

“Detroit is extremely proud of our rich 85-year history in the transportation industry,” said Matt Pfaffenbach, Detroit Plant Manager. “Our remarkable milestones and success are attributed to loyal customers who drive our Detroit products on the road each and every day. This level of success only becomes possible with dedicated employees who design, build and deliver our industry-leading products. They have shaped our past and will play a key role in forging our future path.”

Key milestones in Detroit’s 85-year history:

·       1938: General Motors forms GM Diesel Division

·       1987: Introduction of Detroit Diesel Series 60 (S60)

·       1988: Formation of Detroit Diesel Corporation (DDC)

·       2000: Daimler acquires DDC, placing it under Daimler Truck North America

·       2008: DD15 engine platform launches globally, 1 million S60 engines sold

·       2015: Launch of DT12 transmissions

·       2017: Launch of medium-duty (MD) engines

·       2020: New front axle assembly line and turbo assembly lines begin production,

                  Gen5 DD15 production begins

·       2021: Gen5 DD13 engine and advanced 6x4 carrier begin production

·       2022: HVB (high-voltage battery) and eDrive begin production

Detroit is dedicated to its local community. Employees take pride in giving back and engaging with the community by partnering with organizations, such as the Downtown Boxing Gym, Redford Public Schools, and various community nonprofits.

To celebrate this milestone, Detroit hosted celebrations at its Redford campus on Wednesday, September 20, bringing together team members from corporate, plant teams, and Daimler Truck Financial Services (DTFS) team, who will soon be joining the Detroit campus. Remote celebrations for employees in Portland and Saltillo will follow in the weeks to come.

Detroit’s 85-year history is not just a celebration of past accomplishments, but a testament to its dedication to delivering world-class powertrain technology and innovative solutions for years to come. Visit to learn more about how Detroit is driving the future.

About Detroit

Detroit is a single-source trucking business solution that offers mid-range and heavy-duty diesel engines, ePowertrains, transmissions, axles, safety systems, and connected vehicle services for on-highway and vocational commercial markets. Detroit products are sold and serviced through a network of hundreds of locations in North America. For more information, or to find the nearest Detroit location, visit Detroit is a brand of Detroit Diesel Corporation, a subsidiary of Daimler Truck North America.

About Daimler Truck North America

Daimler Truck North America LLC, headquartered in Portland, Oregon, is a leading provider of comprehensive products and technologies for the commercial transportation industry. Daimler Truck North America designs, engineers, manufactures and markets medium- and heavy-duty trucks, school buses, vehicle chassis and their associated technologies and components under the Freightliner, Western Star, Thomas Built Buses, Freightliner Custom Chassis Corp and Detroit brands. Daimler Truck North America is a subsidiary of Daimler Truck Holding AG (DTG), one of the world’s leading commercial vehicle manufacturers.

Media Contact, Daimler Truck North America, Anja Weinert,

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