VICO GM Diesel, a five-state distributor of Detroit Diesel Allison
engines and transmissions in Memphis, has been acquired by the Morton
famil y and United Engines Inc. of Oklahoma City, it was announced
Michael E. Johnson, vice president of United Engines, will be
president and chief executive officer of the Memphis firm, which will
be called Delta Detroit Diesel Allison.
Johnson is the son-in-law of Jerry W. Morton, president and chief
executive officer of United Engines, which distributes, modifies and
services diesel engines and transmissions for buses, trucks, yachts,
oilfield equipment and standby generators.
"United Engines is financing the acquisition," said Jerry Morton.
"Michael Johnson owns 20 percent of what is now Delta Detroit Diesel
Allison, with an agreement to buy out the other 80 percent from
Terms of the purchase were not disclosed.
The Memphis firm was sold by Sam Vinson, who founded the firm in
1962 through acquisition of the Lewis Diesel Co. The Memphis firm
occupies a 70,000-square foot facility as a distributor, parts
andservice center for Detroit Diesel Allison engines and
"Delta will be operated as a separate corporate entity,
independent of United Engines," said Johnson, who will relocate to
Memphis. "We will retain the facilities occupied by what is now
Delta. These include a five-acre tract of land targeted for
"Projections call for a modest increase of up to 15 percent of the
current workforce by the end of 1985, with a considerable increase in
sales forecast over the next three years."
The facilities include a service area with dedicated dynamometers
for diesel engines, truck chassis and transmissions, plus a paint
spray booth approved by the Occupational Safety and Health
"This is a signficant acquisition for Morton family-owned
companies," said Jay W. Morton, executive vice president and general
manager of United Engines, and son of Jerry Morton. "It will give us
an overall market area of seven states.
"We have the strength to expand in Oklahoma's down economy,
because United Engines has diversified markets.
"Delta has had gross sales of $33 million since 1980. It services
a network of about 35 dealers in the states of Tennessee, Missouri,
Arkansas, Mississippi and Kentucky."
There are 35 employees on the staff.
United Engines has had gross sales of $252 million since 1980 in
Oklahoma, Louisiana and part of Arkansas. The firm now employs an
average of about 325 persons.
The Oklahoma City firm occupies about 325,000 square feet of space
with branch offices in Tulsa, Texarkana and Shreveport.
This includes a 66,000-square foot headquarters and service
facility at 5555 W. Reno Ave. in Oklahoma City, plus facilities of
100,000 square feet at 3950 NW 3rd St. …