STUTTGART, GERMANY / SALTILLO, COAHUILA, MEXICO - Daimler Trucks North America, LLC (DTNA) observed the grand opening of a new $300 million manufacturing plant in Saltillo, Coahuila, in northern Mexico. The new facility utilizes the most advanced lean manufacturing processes and techniques in the truck building industry, incorporating continuous evaluation and improvement and best practices from other Daimler Trucks facilities and lean plants around the world. The facility is expected to employ 1,414 plant workers and 186 management and support personnel, and generate an additional 1,100 jobs with local suppliers. After breaking ground in January 2007, the facility was completed on time and under budget.
The 1.3 million square foot plant comprises an administration building, a training center and auditorium, a 200,000 square foot logistics center, and an 875,000 square foot production facility. The site also includes a pre-delivery inspection/transporter center and test track.
The plant, which will produce Freightliner's new flagship Cascadia model Class 8 truck, was sited in Saltillo for significant logistical advantages including proximity to raw materials, suppliers, customers, roads, and rail. The 740 acre greenfield site provided a unique opportunity for a fully scalable, customized development, rare in truck manufacturing. The plant will produce up to 30,000 Cascadias annually, for sale in the U.S., Canadian, and Mexican markets. The Cascadia will be introduced to the domestic market in Mexico in late 2009.
The Saltillo plant is the second Daimler Trucks North America manufacturing facility to be located in Mexico, joining the Santiago Tianguistenco plant, which produces Freightliner-branded heavy- and medium-duty trucks for domestic Mexico sales, as well as for export to Latin America, the United States, and Canada.
Coahuila Governor Humberto Moreira, in welcoming Daimler Trucks to Saltillo, said, "This is one of the most important projects in the region. It strengthens Coahuila as a development and investments attraction center."
Saltillo will set benchmark standards for the Daimler Trucks manufacturing facilities worldwide. Lean operations at Saltillo are focused on getting it right the first time, and nowhere is that more evident than in the plant's goal of perfect first-time quality. In response to that challenge, production hands off to quality control at the customer ready center, not in an offline area, as is typical in the industry.
At the core of quality production for the Saltillo plant is Daimler's Truck Operating System (TOS). TOS contributes to both operational and everyday excellence and applies to every step on the production line. The system empowers each person at each workstation and provides an avenue for continuous feedback so the production process is always improving.
The Saltillo facility complies with DTNA's high environmental standards, including industry-leading waste treatment and co-processing, and recycling of 90 percent of all materials. Thoughtful design elements embody the company's commitment to a zero-waste/zero-landfill policy:
- Integrated green areas on the site reduce soil erosion.
- No petroleum-based fuel is used for rapid-charged electric tugger trains.
- Recessed, solar controlled windows decrease air conditioning demands.
- Apertures provide natural light in assembly areas.
- On-site water treatment centers provide for 100% recycling of all process and sanitary water.