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Daimler Trucks set to build $18 million Madras test track


Daimler Trucks North America announced Friday night its commitment to bring more jobs to Oregon with an $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, the company announced during the opening night of The Airshow of the Cascades.

The Madras City Council agreed last May to lease 87 acres of Madras Airport property to Daimler, North America’s largest heavy-duty truck manufacturer, for a new durability test track, shop and office building.

Daimler produces class six to eight 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 that the Madras facility will continue to support,” the announcement said.

“The track is designed in such a way that engineers can simulate a typical vehicle’s full service life, traveling over a variety of road surfaces, in less than six months,” the company said.

It added, “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 is committed to Oregon, as recently evidenced by our new headquarters building currently under construction in Portland,” said Matthew Markstaller, DTNA’s property manager. “Locating our own durability test facility in Madras will further centralize and strengthen our engineering presence in Oregon.”

“We are pleased to have DTNA as a partner in the area and welcome its commitment to Madras and our economy,” said Madras Mayor Royce Embanks. “”I’d also like to thank my colleagues on the City Council, Business Oregon and EDCO in Jefferson County.

“ODOT and Jefferson County have and will continue to play key roles,” Embanks said. “We have all worked as a team to apply for and secure state grants and utilize the enterprise zone. The efforts have played an important role in Daimler choosing to build and expand in Oregon.”

Construction of the facility, which will include a test track and several buildings, will begin this winter and will be completed by the end of 2016, the company said.

The upgrade of the Madras facility was made possible by the significant capital investment by DTNA, as well as support from local and state officials.

A spokesman said the company had been using the Madras site for about 25 years, but only a few employees worked there currently.

The announcement comes two years after DTNA announced plans to build a new $150 million headquarters building on its campus on Swan Island in North Portland.

Daimler Trucks North America LLC, headquartered in Portland, is the leading heavy-duty truck manufacturer in North America. Daimler Trucks North America produces and markets commercial vehicles under the Freightliner, Western Star and Thomas Built Buses nameplates.

Daimler Trucks North America is a Daimler company, the world’s leading commercial vehicle manufacturer.

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