Detroit Diesel was once associated with General Motors, during which time it was called the General Motors Diesel Division. For several years, GM had cornered the diesel engine market. Detroit Diesel developed its engines in the industrial, marine, and railroad markets.
The variety of the markets it was produced in allowed Detroit Diesel began in 1939 during the great depression. General Motors created the GM Diesel Division, the origin of today’s Detroit Diesel Corporation. That success dwindled in the ‘80’s when GM made some questionable choices with their budgets and Detroit Diesel ended up with some quality control issues (any of this sound familiar?). In 1988, Roger Penske invested in Detroit Diesel and that investment, along with the development of the Series 60 engine, are what helped the company rebound in the 1990’s. New emissions standards in the late ’90’s meant the company maintained a lot of debt, and Detroit Diesel was sold in 2000 to DaimlerChrysler AG.
They have been a successful company through the years, and continue to expand and produce reliable, heavy-duty trucks still today