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Sterling Heights to remain open

by David Zatz on

Sterling Heights Assembly Plant

Reversing its original plans, Chrysler announced that it will keep the Sterling Heights Assembly Plant open, instead of closing it in 2012. The plant originally was part of the “old carco” in liquidation, but it was purchased by the “new Chrysler.”

As part of keeping the plant open, a second shift will be added next year, adding 900 Chrysler jobs and 500 supplier jobs. The alternative would likely have been expansion of a Toledo plant and the Belvedere plant, so that the two remaining assembly plants would have taken over Sterling Heights’ role, moving to three shifts if needed. This would have left Chrysler less capable of responding to spikes in demand, but would presumably have required less capital and reduced fixed costs.

The Sterling Heights Assembly Plant is next door to the Sterling Heights Stamping Plant, and currently makes the Dodge Avenger and Chrysler Sebring. Re-engineered versions of these models, with Pentastar V6 engines and (possibly retuned) four-cylinders, are due to be introduced within six months.

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