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Chrysler to add 500 jobs to expand Mexico engine plant

October 8, 2013

Chrysler Group will add about 500 workers at a Mexican engine plant, two people with direct knowledge of the matter said Tuesday.

CEO Sergio Marchionne will provide details later this week when he visits the Saltillo area, where Chrysler has four plants, with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, said the people, who asked not to be identified speaking ahead of the announcement.

Chrysler’s investment will total $164 million to expand production at the engine factory in Ramos Arizpe, one of the people said. Shawn Morgan, a Chrysler spokeswoman, declined to comment.

Automakers are expanding production in Mexico to capitalize on lower labor costs that bolster the profitability of vehicles sold in the U.S. market.

Chrysler began building the ProMaster, a Ram version of the Fiat Ducato light-commercial vehicle, at a nearby facility in July. Marchionne said last week the van assembled in Mexico uses some parts from Fiat’s Ducato facility in Italy.

“Mexico is quite competitive in the automobile industry and we’re going to see more investments like this,” Armando Soto, president of Kaso y Asociados, a Mexico City-based auto industry consulting firm, said in a telephone interview. “This kind of investment helps consolidate a region as an automotive cluster.”

Volkswagen’s Audi brand is investing $1.3 billion in a new plant in San Jose Chiapa with a capacity of 150,000 cars a year.

General Motors has budgeted $691 million to expand three existing Mexican factories. Fiat also builds the North American version of the 500 subcompact at a plant in Toluca.

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Chrysler Group Confirms Investments Totaling $1.249 Billion in Two Saltillo, Mexico, Facilities to Produce Commercial Vehicle and New Line of Engines

President Peña joins Chrysler Group CEO for plant dedication event

New plant constructed to assemble Ram ProMaster with investment of $1.085 billion

More than 1,100 employed at new plant

Promaster only truck of its kind to be produced in Mexico

Company to invest $164 million to add production of Tigershark engine at North Engine Plant

Engine investment will create 470 new jobs

October 10, 2013 , Saltillo, Coahuila -

Chrysler Group Chairman and CEO Sergio Marchionne confirmed investments totaling $1.249 billion in two Saltillo facilities and the creation of 1,570 jobs during a dedication event at the new Van Assembly Plant today with President of Mexico Enrique Peña and Minister of Economy Ildefonso Guajardo.

Of the total investment, $1.085 billion was invested in the construction of the new Van Assembly Plant to produce the Ram ProMaster commercial vehicle. The additional $164 million will add a new production line to assemble Tigershark engines at the Saltillo North Engine Plant. Mexican development banks Bancomext and Nafin provided financial support for the Van Assembly Plant project.

The Van Assembly Plant, which began production in July 2013, will result in a total of more than 1,100 new jobs by December. The new investment at the North Engine Plant will create 470 new jobs. With this announcement, employment in Saltillo will grow to nearly 6,500. Both the Ram ProMaster and the Tigershark engine will be exported to different markets, based on Free Trade Agreements that Mexico has with several countries.

“I would like to thank President Enrique Peña Nieto for the support his administration has given us, first as Governor and now as President. He has always shown a great commitment to promoting strategically important projects,” said Marchionne. “All of this would not be possible without the extraordinary spirit of collaboration we have found in both the federal and state governments. We feel privileged to have the opportunity to contribute to the future growth of Mexico.”

As part of the visit, Marchionne and President Peña toured the new plant and greeted employees.

“I want you to know how much I appreciate your hard work and your dedication to the principles of World Class Manufacturing, which is enabling us to compete with the very best plants in the world,” Marchionne told employees during the ceremony.

The Ram ProMaster assembled in the new plant will be sold in Mexico, U.S.A. and Canada. It is the only vehicle of its kind to be produced in Mexico and joins the full line of products offered by the Ram brand. It has features that make it best-in-class, like a modern six-speed automatic transmission (unique for the segment), advanced security systems and vertical space that makes it more efficient to load. The ProMaster is based on the successful Fiat Ducato, which has earned an excellent reputation over three decades.

The 2.0-liter and 2.4-liter Tigershark engines will be assembled at the North Engine Plant alongside the Company´s flagship HEMI® V-8 engines. The 2.4-liter has the advanced MultiAir system, which combines excellent response throughout the revolutions range with low fuel consumption and emissions. The 2.4-liter engine powers the 2014 Jeep® Cherokee and Dodge Dart. Production of the Tigershark engine line will begin in the first quarter 2014.

Currently, Chrysler Group's North and South Engine Plants assemble a new engine every 17 seconds. The new production line will strengthen the role that Mexico plays as a strategic powertrain manufacturing site.

About Chrysler de Mexico
Chrysler de Mexico was established in 1938 and is headquartered in Santa Fe. It has six plants located in Toluca and Saltillo, and one automotive engineering center located in Mexico City. Facilities include Toluca Assembly Plant, Toluca Stamping Plant, Saltillo Truck Assembly Plant, Saltillo Engine Plant Ramos Arizpe, Saltillo Stamping Plant, and Saltillo South Engine Plant. Since 2009, Chrysler de Mexico has been implementing World Class Manufacturing (WCM), a production methodology designed to reduce waste, has increased productivity and has restored dignity to the employees in all of its plants.

The Toluca Complex provides body panels and final assembly for Dodge Journey, Fiat 500 and Fiat Freemont. The Saltillo facilities manufacture the 5.7-liter V-8 HEMI® engine, 6.4-liter V-8 HEMI engine and 3.6-liter V-6 Pentastar engine. They also build the Ram 1500, Ram 2500/3500, Ram Mega Cab, Ram 3500 Chassis Cab, Ram 4500/5500 and the DX Chassis Cab (Mexican market), plus related body panels.

The Chrysler Automotive Engineering Center was created to develop, evaluate and test new vehicles to ensure they satisfy government requirements. The Engineering Center includes vehicle testing facilities, pollution/emission labs, material engineering, metrology, and engine and transmission dynamometers.
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