Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) held a groundbreaking ceremony for the previously announced $18 million investment to upgrade its current research and development facility in Madras. The upgraded facility will bring more than 30 new jobs to the area. Kirby Nagelhout Construction of Bend has been selected as the general contractor in charge of the project.
DTNA produces Class 6-8 vehicles under the Freightliner, Western Star, Thomas Built Buses and Freightliner Custom Chassis nameplates. DTNA is committed to providing the best value to its customers through ongoing testing, research and development, which is supported by the Madras facility.
The track is designed to allow engineers to simulate a typical vehicle’s full service life, travelling over a variety of road surfaces, in less than six months. The proximity of the Madras facility to DTNA’s Portland headquarters enables engineers in the office and in the field to work more easily on projects together.
“Daimler Trucks North America produces the best commercial vehicles on the road, and in order to continue that tradition, we must have the best research and testing facilities in the industry,” said Dr. Wilfried Achenbach, senior vice president, engineering and technology, Daimler Trucks North America. “DTNA has a long history of engineering excellence, which is made possible by state-of-the-art facilities like the one here in Madras. We look forward to completing this project and getting this facility up and running.”
“What a great opportunity to have Daimler, a world-renowned and respected company, invest in the Madras community and the greater Jefferson County area. This is a partnership that is more than 40 years mature and the City of Madras is excited to see this relationship develop long into the future with the groundbreaking of this expansion project,” said Mayor Royce Embanks. “On behalf of the Madras City Council, we’d also like to thank the other members on our team; Business Oregon, Oregon Department of Transportation, Jefferson County and EDCO in Jefferson County.”
Construction of the facility, which will include a test track and several buildings, will begin this winter and will be completed in early 2017. Kirby Nagelhout Construction of Bend has been selected as the general contractor in charge of the project. The buildings will combine for more than 31,000 square feet and the two test track loops will cover more than 16 acres.
(Photo above: Ground Breaking | Photo Courtesy of Daimler Trucks North America)