Detroit Commemorates 85 Successful Years


It was in 1938 that Detroit set out with one focus: crafting top-tier engines for heavy- and medium-duty trucks. Now Detroit is a North American leader in engine technology for commercial vehicles, and a part of Daimler Truck North America, proudly marking its 85th anniversary as a notable journey of growth and innovation.


From humble beginnings at its flagship facility in Redford, Michigan, the company thrives thanks to its exceptional products, first-class engineering, innovation, and contributions of its talented workforce. As part of General Motors, the GM Diesel Division, Detroit has expanded its product line over the decades to encompass more than state-of-the-art engines. Detroit branched out to include automated manual transmissions, axles, battery electric components for zero-emission vehicles, and cutting-edge technologies for enhanced connectivity and safety.

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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 and the industry.


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 has 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,” says Matt Pfaffenbach, plant manager at Detroit. “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.” 

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.

Justin Schneider

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