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February 6, 2017 3:45 AM, EST

Volvo Group Ends Production of 16L Engines in North America

Seth Clevenger/Transport Topics

This story appears in the Feb. 6 print edition of Transport Topics.

Choices for the largest diesel truck engines are thinning as Volvo Trucks North America and Mack Trucks are getting out of the 16-liter business.

Spokesmen for Volvo and Mack confirmed they are ceasing production of the Mack MP10 engine and the Volvo D16. Both companies, which are based in Greensboro, North Carolina, are units of Volvo Group, based in Gothenburg, Sweden.

The move leaves Detroit Diesel Corp., a subsidiary of Daimler Trucks North America, as the only producer of the leviathan power plants.

“Effective immediately, Volvo Trucks has discontinued North American production of the 16-liter Volvo D16 engine,” spokesman Brandon Borgna said Jan. 26.

“The decision is the result of limited market demand for this engine displacement and the long-term investment that would be required to maintain the D16 for the unique operating requirements of the North American market. We also continue to see a general shift among our highway customers toward the lighter, more fuel-efficient Volvo D13 engine, which comprises the most popular engine displacement in North America,” Borgna said.

“The Titan by Mack model [truck] and its engine, the Mack MP10, have been discontinued by Mack because many of the applications that the Titan served can be handled by Mack Pinnacle and Granite models equipped with the newer, higher horsepower and torque outputs of the Mack MP8 13-liter engine,” Mack’s Christopher Heffner also said Jan. 26.

“Mack will continue to provide full aftermarket service and support for customers who currently own a Titan model,” Heffner added.

Mack said Titan owners use the truck for logging, oil-field work and oversize hauling.

Volvo said the D16 was made for extreme applications, including long combination vehicles and heavy-specialized hauling.

As engine makers have improved their products to meet federal fuel-efficiency regulations and satisfy customer desires, they have been able to increase combustion efficiency and generate more power density, or horsepower per liter of displacement. Most original equipment manufacturers are appealing to fleets to consider smaller engines than they have used in the past.

Daimler Trucks North America, however, will stick with its Detroit DD16 engine.

“The Detroit DD16 engine is an important part of Detroit’s powertrain portfolio. We are committed to providing this engine to customers who demand extreme-duty and heavy hauling that requires 16-liter power,” said Kary Schaefer, general manager for marketing and strategy at Portland, Oregon-based DTNA, which makes the Freightliner and Western Star brands. It is a unit of Daimler AG, based in Stuttgart, Germany.

“This is an important segment in our industry that we will continue to serve,” Schaefer added.

The DD16 maxes out at 2,050 pound-feet of torque and 600 horsepower and is available in two types of Freightliner trucks and three Western Star trucks.

Even on the 15-liter level, choices are limited to Cummins Inc. and the Detroit DD15.

High-water marks for the somewhat smaller DD15 are 1,850 pound-feet and 505 hp.

For Columbus, Indiana-based Cummins, its new X15 is similar to a 16-liter model with maximums of 2,050 pound-feet and 605 hp.

Cummins spokesman Mario Sanchez-Lara said management sees a chance to boost sales. “Yes, we are excited about the incremental opportunity with Volvo Trucks,” Sanchez-Lara said.

Since at least 2005, Sanchez-Lara said, the demise of the big-bore engine has been predicted, yet “engines above 13 liters remain available, and with tangible demand, on both sides of the Atlantic.”

“For a long time, we have approached these needs with larger-displacement engines that can produce adequate power at lower [revolutions per minute], which translates into good fuel economy, reliability and superior durability,” Sanchez-Lara said.

The Volvo D16 engine was available in Volvo’s VNL and VNX models, with the latter debuting at the spring 2013 Mid-America Trucking Show.

Borgna said the VNL will continue to be available with Volvo’s D11 and D13 engines and the Cummins X15. As for VNX, he said the model “will remain in our product lineup, and we’re evaluating solutions that will allow us to offer it in the future. In the interim, we intend to offer an X-package for the VNL model,” with the D13 or Cummins X15.

Paccar Inc. makes 11- and 13-liter MX engines for its Kenworth Trucks and Peterbilt Motors vehicles and is also a large Cummins customer.

Mack and Volvo will continue to make 11- and 13-liter engines. The Mack model numbers are MP7 and MP8, respectively.

Navistar Inc. makes a 13-liter engine in-house and also uses a lot of Cummins engines.