Chrysler to Keep Sterling Heights Plant
Despite the union’s strong opposition, Chrysler had previously decided that it would shut the plant down by the end of the year, but it seems that the plan was scrapped. The new decision would keep the facility in Chrysler’s fold. It would also save 1,200 jobs at the plant, which assembles the Chrysler Sebring and the Dodge Avenger. This move also counts as a major achievement for the United Auto Workers union, which is Chrysler’s main stakeholder (it owns 55 percent of the company).
Last year, Chrysler emerged from bankruptcy under the management control of Fiat SpA. In 2009 the factory was placed with Old Carco LLC, the shell company that holds Chrysler’s assets that were not bought by Fiat, as they remained in bankruptcy. Chrysler has decided to produce the facelifted versions of the Sebring and Avenger at Sterling Heights until 2012. After that, new versions of these cars will be produced. These are part of a bigger plan aimed at reviving Chrysler. This plan has recently been introduced by Fiat's Chief Executive Officer, Sergio Marchionne.
The Sterling Heights City Council has already shown support for this move, as it has already approved tax incentives for Chrysler’s retention of the plant. The deal is expected to be officially approved in March.