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Chrysler adding engine plant jobs in Dundee

by David Zatz on

According to local radio station WXYZ, Chrysler will build Fiat four-cylinder engines in its Dundee plant, adding 155 jobs. The 1.4 liter engine is a Fiat basic design which is being adapted for American use by Chrysler engineers; it will appear in the Fiat 500 and possibly other vehicles.  The engine, as sold in Europe, uses a type of oil which is hard to acquire in the United States, and burns midgrade fuel.  Michigan has approved a ten year tax credit for $4.6 million, according to the reports; building the engine at Dundee requires a $179 million investment.

While Chrysler is engineering their own vehicles using Fiat platforms and some Fiat technologies, and will largely rely on Chrysler engines, Fiat is planning to build the Fiat 500 and other small cars in the United States and possibly Mexico for North American sale. The Dundee plant was built to make the “World Engine,” a four cylinder design jointly created and developed by Hyundai, Mitsubishi, and Chrysler, and will continue to make that engine as well. There are two Dundee plants, and it is not clear which is to make the 1.4 liter engines.

Update: it appears that Chrysler plans to make up to 250,000 1.4 liter engines per year. The current plan is to have these engines in standard and turbocharged form within the Fiat 500 and Fiat-designed small cars to be sold under Chrysler and possibly the Alfa Romeo nameplates. While the American market does not support large numbers of small cars, the engines could be used in cars sold in Mexico and South America, as well.

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