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Detroit Diesel recalls workers, revs up output

Detroit Diesel Corp has recalled 200 workers in the past few months to increase production for the Series 60 engine, a sign that aggressive deals by OEMs are paying off more than expected in first-quarter 2003

Analyst Martin Labbe of Ormond Beach FL-based Martin Labbe Associates told Fleet Owner that the rebound truck manufacturers expected to see this year will come sooner than expected.

“With low interest rates and OEMs cutting aggressive deals, if you have to replace trucks in the next six months, you may as well buy them now,” Labbe said.

Mark Bara, vice-president — on-highway engine sales for Detroit Diesel, said his company has received orders from several hundred fleets, and the order backlog exceeds 11,000 engines. Bara said two shifts have resumed, and line rates are set at 70 daily for each shift.

However, Labbe said the production backlog was forced because of deals cut by OEMs, which means the numbers seen now will steal from second- and third-quarter volumes.

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