Diesel engine manufacturing powers state economies, jobs

When manufacturers put a heavy-duty diesel engine into a vehicle, that engine isn’t just helping to drive the vehicle.

It’s driving the economy, both in the state of Michigan and nationally across the United States.

In just the first quarter of 2019, heavy-duty clean diesel engines directly supported more than $4 trillion in U.S. economic activity. That’s after a wildly successful 2018, which saw double-digit increase in production.

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That’s according to the Diesel Technology Forum, a nonprofit organization dedicated to raising awareness about the importance of diesel engines, fuel and technology. Last year, more than 1 million heavy-duty diesel engines were manufactured across the United States – a growth of 13% (some 120,000 engines) over 2017.

“American-made heavy-duty diesel engines are the workhorse of the economy, fueling half the key U.S. economic sectors with proven, economical, efficient and now near-zero emissions technology,” said Allen Schaeffer, executive director of the Diesel Technology Forum. “From agricultural, mining and construction equipment, to commercial vehicles, trucks, buses, locomotives, tugboats and other goods-movement equipment, diesel remains the powertrain of choice.”

Thirteen states are home to heavy-duty diesel engine manufacturing, with North Carolina producing some 33% of U.S.-made engines.

Among the other states: Michigan. Nearly 106,000 heavy-duty diesel engines were produced in Detroit last year, according to the Diesel Technology Forum. That’s driving a national auto industry producing big numbers. Consider these statistics provided by the Diesel Technology Forum:

  • The auto industry in Michigan is responsible for nearly 395,000 jobs in the state.
  • That’s 7% of the state’s workforce.
  • Some $20.6 billion in new auto sales last year.
  • Some 293,000 Michigan vehicles are powered by diesel engines.

“The growth in diesel engine manufacturing is a clear indicator of the importance and future of this technology,” Schaeffer said. “U.S.-based heavy-duty diesel engine manufacturing facilities are producing the latest new-generation diesel technologies, which not only are near-zero emissions but also lower in greenhouse gas emissions and consume less fuel.”

Diesel-related jobs totaled almost 265,000, with wages and salaries above the national average and a job-growth outlook of 5% each year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The agricultural, mining, construction, and transportation and logistics industries are directly dependent on heavy-duty diesel engines. According to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, these diesel-dependent industrial sectors have grown by 6% over last year. These sectors represent more than 12% of all private-sector industrial activity.

New analysis from the Diesel Technology Forum provides insights into the broad impact of diesel engine manufacturing on state economies. A look through the Forum’s searchable, state-by-state database further shows how diesel is the workhorse of each state’s economy and transportation systems. This resource identifies each state’s diesel-related manufacturing and jobs; number of renewable fuel producers and stations; diesel fuel consumption; and population of diesel-powered commercial trucks, marine vessels, transit and school buses, and passenger vehicles.

Beyond manufacturing, each state’s economy benefits from large workforce and training sectors dedicated to servicing and maintaining diesel engines, vehicles, equipment and fueling operations, along with the public and private services they provide that can be found in every community.


Visit the Forum’s website at https://www.dieselforum.org/in-your-state to find out how clean diesel plays a role in your state.