Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) said an $18 million investment to upgrade its current research and development facility in Madras, Ore., is expected to begin this winter and be completed by the end of next years.
The facility, located 120 miles southeast of Portland, will include a test track and several buildings, will begin this winter and is the result of significant capital investment by DTNA as well as support from local and state officials.
DTNA produces Class 6 through 8 vehicles under the Freightliner, Western Star, Thomas Built Buses and Freightliner Custom Chassis nameplates. The new test track is designed in such a way that engineers can 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 is committed to Oregon, as recently evidenced by our new headquarters building currently under construction in Portland,” said Matthew Markstaller, property manager for Daimler Trucks North America. “Locating our own durability test facility in Madras will further centralize and strengthen our engineering presence in Oregon.”
News of the Madras upgrade comes two years after DTNA announced its plans to build a new $150-million headquarters building on its campus on Swan Island in North Portland.