Chrysler Group LLC to Invest $165 Million to Add Body Shop to Sterling Heights (Mich.) Assembly Plant

Oct 18, 2011, 16:13 ET from Chrysler Group LLC

AUBURN HILLS, Mich., Oct. 18, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --

  • New body shop adds more than one million square-feet to current footprint
  • Facility will build future products, beginning in 2013
  • Body shop to include state-of-the-art technology
  • Company's total investment in U.S. facilities grows to nearly $3.5 billion since June 2009

Chrysler Group LLC announced today that it will invest $165 million to add a new one million square-foot body shop to its Sterling Heights (Mich.) Assembly Plant. This follows an announcement in December 2010 that the Company would invest nearly $850 million in a new paint shop for the plant and brings Chrysler Group's total investment in its U.S. facilities to nearly $3.5 billion since June 2009.

"Today marks another milestone in the rags to riches story of the Sterling Heights Assembly Plant," said Scott Garberding, Senior Vice President and Head of Manufacturing, Chrysler Group LLC. "A plant that was slated to close nearly two years ago will now be a state-of-the-art facility that will play an integral role in the success of this company by building the next generation of all-new vehicles."

The investment includes the construction of the new body shop as well as the installation of equipment and conveyors that will be some of the most advanced in the industry.

In December 2010, Chrysler Group announced that it would invest nearly $850 million in the construction of an all-new, state-of-the-art 425,000 square-foot paint shop. In addition, some of the $850 million will be invested in the local stamping facilities in Warren and Sterling Heights.

"Last year, Chrysler made the decision to continue operating the Sterling Heights Assembly Plant indefinitely, maintaining good manufacturing jobs in Michigan and securing the future for more than 1,200 employees," said General Holiefield, Vice President, UAW/Chrysler Department. "Today, the plant is thriving with 900 new employees and additional investment that recognizes the commitment and dedication of this highly skilled workforce toward building a successful Chrysler Group."

Since June 2009, Chrysler Group has invested nearly $3.5 billion in its U.S. facilities and has made significant progress toward building a successful enterprise, including:

  • reporting an operating profit of $507 million in the second quarter of 2011;
  • reporting the 18th-consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains in September;
  • announcing a $72 million investment in the Toledo (Ohio) Machining Plant;
  • confirming a $114 million investment to repurpose about one-fifth or nearly 400,000-square feet of the Trenton North Engine Plant for the production of core components for the Pentastar engine produced at Trenton South;
  • investing nearly $1.3 billion into the Company's existing transmission manufacturing facilities in Kokomo, Ind., to accommodate production of a new advanced front-wheel drive automatic transmission; increase capacity and support production of the World Engine and improve processes for the 62TE transmission program; and accommodate future production of a new highly fuel-efficient eight-speed automatic transmission;
  • announcing a $600 million investment in its Belvidere Assembly Plant;
  • confirming an investment of $850 million in its Sterling Heights Assembly Plant and surrounding stamping facilities;
  • planning an investment of $150 million in its GEMA (Dundee, Mich.) facility;
  • announcing in December 2009 that it will invest $179 million to launch production of the 1.4-liter, 16-valve Fully Integrated Robotized Engine (FIRE) at the company's Global Engine Manufacturing Alliance (GEMA) plant in Dundee, Mich., creating more than 150 new Chrysler jobs;
  • adding a second shift of production – or nearly 1,100 jobs – at its Jefferson North Assembly Plant in May 2010;
  • adding nearly 900 jobs on a second shift at its Sterling Heights Assembly Plant in February 2011;
  • launching the all-new 2011 Jeep® Grand Cherokee in May 2010;
  • beginning production of the all-new Fiat 500, Dodge Durango, Chrysler 200 and Dodge Avenger in December 2010;
  • starting production of the 2011 Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger and Dodge Challenger in January.

About the Sterling Heights Assembly Plant

The Sterling Heights Assembly Plant was built in 1953 as a jet engine plant and was operated by the Army as the Michigan Ordinance Missile Plant with Chrysler serving as contractor building Redstone and Jupiter missiles. It was converted to an automobile plant in 1980 by Volkswagen and purchased by Chrysler Corporation in 1983.

Production of Chrysler LeBaron GTS and Dodge Lancer began in September 1984. Dodge Shadow and Plymouth Sundance production began in 1985, and Dodge Daytona production began in 1991. Through the end of the 1991 model year, the facility had produced nearly 1.3 million vehicles. Production of the 2001 Dodge Stratus and Chrysler Sebring sedans began in the fall of 2000, followed by the Chrysler Sebring Convertible. The all-new 2007 Chrysler Sebring Sedan launched in August 2006, followed by the all-new 2008 Dodge Avenger and 2008 Chrysler Sebring Convertible. The new 2011 Chrysler 200, featured in the award-winning Super Bowl spot with Eminem, and Dodge Avenger began production in December 2010. The Chrysler 200 Convertible launched in February 2011.

About Chrysler Group LLC

Chrysler Group LLC, formed in 2009 from a global strategic alliance with Fiat S.p.A., produces Chrysler, Jeep®, Dodge, Ram, SRT, Fiat and Mopar vehicles and products. With the resources, technology and worldwide distribution network required to compete on a global scale, the alliance builds on Chrysler Group's culture of innovation, first established by Walter P. Chrysler in 1925, and Fiat's complementary technology that dates back to its founding in 1899.

Headquartered in Auburn Hills, Mich., Chrysler Group's product lineup features some of the world's most recognizable vehicles, including the Chrysler 300, Jeep Wrangler, Dodge Challenger and Ram 1500. Fiat contributes world-class technology, platforms and powertrains for small- and medium-size cars, allowing Chrysler Group to offer an expanded product line including environmentally friendly vehicles.

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SOURCE Chrysler Group LLC



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