About us

Our history

The Company was incorporated as a trading company on September 10, 1949, under Jorge Maira Castellón´s notary and registered in the Santiago Commerce Registry under the name “Jaras Limitada”.

It began its activities distributing fuel and lubricants until its appointment as representative for Chile of Vauxhall Bedford, of General Motors vehicles - England. In 1960, the company was named distributor of B.F. Goodrich Co., for distribution and sales of tires, which was later dropped in 1976 in order to devote all efforts as an exclusive representative of Detroit Diesel Corporation and Allison Corp.

The above mentioned representations added to others acquired in the following years (MTU and Donaldson) remain in force until now and represent the main core of Engine Division, providing technical assistance and sale of spare parts within the industrial scope, especially in mining where it maintains an active participation. As of 1985, the current controlling shareholders assume the senior management beginning a period of consolidation and expansion in the company's business.

In 1990 began into operation Puerto Montt’s shipyard, in which more than 100 work boats have been built, also providing maintenance and repair to vessels to the fishing industries, merchant marine, Chilean Navy and ferries and salmon that operate in the region of the channels.

In year 2000, the provision of logistic services for the salmon industry began, with the result that important investments were made, especially in the construction of its own fleet, acquisition and transformation of used vessels, port facilities, storage facilities and offices. Over the years, the company becomes a leading provider of live food and fish transport services to the national aquaculture industry.

At the beginning of 2001, the company changed its name to DETROIT CHILE S.A. and created the new Tourism Division, under which the construction of the Hotel Loberías del Sur begins, the transport of passengers on high-speed catamarans to the San Rafael lagoon and AIKEN del Sur park on the shores of Lake Riesco, located in the XI Region of Aysén.

In the first half of 2002, due to the development potential, it was decided to acquire the facilities of a shipyard in the city of Itajaí in the State of Santa Catarina in Brazil, creating the subsidiary Detroit Brasil Limitada, delivering the first units built in its facilities in the first months of 2003, constituting itself after the years in a reference of the Brazilian shipbuilding industry for the segment of tugboats and offshore ships.

In September 2007, the subsidiaries Detroit Brasil Limitada and Naviera Detroit Chile S.A. established Starnav Serviços Marítimos Limitada, a company based in Brazil and dedicated to providing specialized maritime services for the oil and port industry in that country.

To date, the Company provides services to Petróleos Brasileiros S.A. (Petrobras) with vessels of the Plattaform Supply Vessel (PSV) type and has a modern fleet of port tugsboats. It should be noted that both fleets have been built by the Detroit Brasil Limitada shipyard and all the vessels are operating satisfactorily in the offshore and port segments.

This same subsidiary, in successive public tenders that took place between July 2010 and May 2014, was awarded the construction and operation of 17 vessels of the PSV (Platform Supply Vessel) type for its client Petrobras. The construction project executed entirely by Detroit Brasil Limitada concluded in December 2017. Thus, at the end of 2018 the company has 17 PSV 4500.

In September 2017, after signing an operating agreement with another Brazilian port operator, we decided to start the port towing activity Sao Luis de Maranhao (MA), to which the ports of Santos (SO), Rio Grande(RS), Paranaguá (PA), Sepetiba (RJ)), Santarem and Rio de Janeiro were subsequently added. We have thirteen port tugboats operating in the Brazilian market, to which 8 new units of 80 tons of bollard pull that are currently under full construction in the shipyard in Itajaí will be added over the next 2 years.

At the end of 2018 the subsidiaries Detroit Import Export Inc and Detroit USA International LLC, both based in the United States, in the state of Florida, were created. Their main purpose will be to provide the foreign products and services required for the companies of the group to carry out their operations, minimizing the cost of logistics and purchases.

As of January 2019, the company took over the MTU representation in Argentina, which is being developed through dealers who have the knowledge and relationship with local clients as well as territorial coverage.

Market Info
Corporate video
Background of the Society
  • Business Name:

    Detroit S.A.

  • Kind of Society:

    Sociedad Anónima Cerrada

  • Fantasy Name:


  • Rut:


  • Legal Address:

    Barón de Juras Reales N° 5.250, Conchalí

  • Telephone:

    +56 2 2440 85 00

  • Fax:

    + 56 2 26231547

  • Email:


  • Web Site:


  • Box:

    10114 Correo Central – Santiago