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Marchionne comments on the future of SHAP

Posted Thursday, Oct 1, 2009, 4:30 pm in Employee News

Chrysler Group CEO Sergio Marchionne answered a question about the future of the Sterling Heights (Mich.) Assembly Plant at an impromptu press conference this morning during a visit of the Italian economic minister to the Auburn Hills Complex.

Question: What is going to happen to the Sterling Heights Assembly Plant? Is it going to remain open for the next couple of years?

Marchionne: “I’m really glad that you waited for the Italian minister to show up to ask me a question about a plant in Michigan.

“There was a decision that was made at the time in which Chrysler filed for bankruptcy that was part of a production plan that excluded Sterling Heights from continuing operations at Chrysler going forward. That view has not changed. I’ve read the speculation in the press; I’ve seen some people get incredibly excited about the fact that we’re about ready to change our mind.

“I can tell you right now, I have no plans on my desk that would suggest that the decision is going to be reversed. I think that we need to look at a variety of factors before commitments like this are made. It was part of a very thorough understanding of a manufacturing footprint that Chrysler had, so I don’t want anybody to start building up unfulfilled expectations. I think we need to be careful, and I think we need to walk before we start running here. I don’t know if I can be any clearer.

“If there is anything that needs to be done in connection with that plant, it certainly needs to be discussed first and foremost with the national leadership of the UAW. I understand the local interest in this issue, but I think we have a number of exchanges and commitments made with Ron Gettelfinger of the UAW. And I think that he is the first and foremost interface in the process.”
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