Automaker Chrysler is replacing the entire fleet of its in-house trucking arm, Chrysler Group Transport, ordering 325 heavy trucks from Mack Trucks.
Chrysler Group Transport, which delivers parts to auto assembly plants and parts distribution centers, said the new trucks will save fuel and require less maintenance.
The Chrysler Group Transport purchase is the latest in a series of large truck orders hitting assembly lines at truck manufacturers in North America.
New heavy truck orders were up 84 percent in May, according to ACT Research, which forecasts a 26 percent increase in heavy truck production this year.
Chrysler expects a 5 percent improvement in fuel economy from the Mack Pinnacle DayCabs, which are expected to average 7 mpg on the highway.
The private fleet's older trucks were still running nearly two years after their leases expired, according to a report from the United Auto Workers.
"They were 39 month leases and we were at 60 months on many of them because of the bankruptcy," Jean-Paul Barrette, head of the private fleet, told the UAW.
Chrysler emerged from bankruptcy this year after being acquired by Italian automaker Fiat.
Mechanics and drivers from all three Chrysler Group Transport terminals in Detroit, Mich., Toledo, Ohio and Windsor, Ontario, helped select the trucks, Barrette said.
"In the big scheme of things, I say these trucks are delivering a sense of renewal and optimism," Dave Costello, Detroit operations manager, said on the fleet's blog.
"It's tangible evidence of what a difference a year can make."
-- Contact William B. Cassidy at firstname.lastname@example.org.