Daimler, which owns Detroit Diesel Corp., will announce a new investment to expand U.S. production and jobs as President Barack Obama visits the company's Redford facility today.
The White House said the investment is expected to be $100 million or more and, with it, Daimler Trucks North America will become the first heavy-duty vehicle equipment manufacturer on the continent to build a fully integrated powertrain from on production facility.
Additional details were expected to be announced later today. Detroit Diesel is a leading manufacturer or engines for heavy-duty trucks and traces its history back to 1938. It has recently added new lines of axles and automated manual transmission to its product line.
By making all the parts -- engine, axles and transmission -- in one place, Daimler says its engineers can design each part to work more effectively with the others, resulting in greater fuel efficiency and lower total cost for ownership for customers.
Obama is expected to deliver a speech to an invitation-only audience at the facility this afternoon about the economy and middle-class workers, using the Daimler investment as a backdrop. In the president's first visit to metro Detroit in eight months, he is expected to continue to try to drum up support for a package of tax increases and spending cuts he argues are needed to avoid a much-deeper set of tax hikes and spending reductions set to automatically occur at year's end.
The president is proposing a plan that would avoid the deeper spending cuts by raising tax rates on higher income earners while keeping them at current levels for households making under $250,000 a year.
Obama and House Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, met Sunday afternoon at the White House to continue discussions about how to avoid the "fiscal cliff." It was their first in-person gathering in nearly a month.
The president and congressional leaders have been trying to reach a deal to prevent more than $500 billion in tax increases and automatic spending cuts scheduled to take effect Jan. 1 unless a new deal is reached.
The president is trying to use his recent reelection and a slowly improving economy as leverage as the deadline looms.
The U.S. unemployment rate fell to its lowest since December 2008 at 7.7%, with the economy adding 146,000 jobs in November. The government said Superstorm Sandy had only a minimal effect on the figures. Since July, the economy has added an average of 158,000 jobs a month.
The president's visit also comes as Gov. Rick Snyder is poised to sign right-to-work legislation. Right-to-work legislation makes it illegal to require financial support of a union as a condition of employment. Protests by union members are scheduled to take place today and tomorrow at the Capitol building in Lansing.
The UAW and other unions helped Obama win re-election in November. On Thursday, after Snyder introduced the legislation, an Obama spokesman said the President has long opposed right-to-work legislation.
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