To bring the plant back to life, Chrysler invested $850 million. The money covers the construction of 425,000-square-foot paint shop and the installation of new machinery, tooling and material-handling equipment.
“Today is a historic day for this facility. Not more than 18 months ago, it was slated to close at the end of this year,” said Sergio Marchionne, Chrysler CEO.
“Now, this plant will not only remain open beyond 2012 and retain jobs, but with the help of the State of Michigan and the City of Sterling Heights, we will make a significant investment in this facility to make it competitive with the best in the industry."
The Dodge Avenger, presented in October, will be offered with a choice of two engines, a 2.4l four-cylinder World Gas Engine and a Pentastar V6 (283 hp and a peak torque of 260 lb-ft 323 Nm). The Chrysler 200 will hit the market powered by exact same choice of engines.
As we've grown accustomed to this past year, Chrysler invited to Sterling Heights several high profile names from the state. The ceremony that accompanied the start of production for the two models was attended by Michigan Governor Jennifer M. Granholm and Sterling Heights Mayor Richard Notte. UAW representatives were also at the scene.
"This is an important day for Chrysler Group and the UAW as the company makes a major investment in an assembly plant here in the U.S., thereby maintaining good manufacturing jobs in Michigan,” said General Holiefield, UAW/Chrysler Department vice president.