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Kenosha Plant to close in October

by Bill Cawthon on

Chrysler Group LLC will close its Kenosha Engine Plant in early October, eliminating some 575 jobs and ending more than a century of automotive production in the city. The company made the required advance-notice filings with Wisconsin authorities on Friday.

Company officials said the plant will close on Oct. 8 or within two weeks of that date. The news was expected as the Kenosha plant was not among the assets transferred to the new Chrysler Group LLC when the company emerged from bankruptcy last year. At that time, the automaker said the plant would close in December 2010.

The plant produces the 2.7-liter and 3.5-liter V6 engines used in the Chrysler 300, Chrysler Sebring, Dodge Avenger, Dodge Charger and Dodge Journey.

Workers at the plant are represented by the UAW and the International Association of Machinists. Chrysler spokeswoman Jodi Tinson said last week that workers from the Kenosha plant will be offered jobs at a plant in suburban Detroit.

Kenosha’s history as an automotive town began with production of the Rambler in 1902. The Kenosha Plant was built in 1917. It was acquired by Chrysler Corporation when it acquired AMC in 1987. The 2.7-liter engine line was introduced in 1997. The 3.5-liter engine debuted in 2003 following construction of a new facility.

Thanks to Rarebearr2800 for the tip!

Bill Cawthon grew up in the auto industry in the 1950s. His Dad worked for Chrysler and Bill spent a number of Saturdays down on the plant floor at Dodge Main in Hamtramck. Bill is also the U.S. market correspondent for, a British auto industry publication, and a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association, which has named the Jeep Grand Cherokee the “SUV of Texas” several times and named the Ram 1500 as the “Truck of Texas” two years running.

Bill has owned five Plymouths (including the only 1962 “Texan”), one Dodge and one Chrysler and is still trying to figure out how to justify a Wrangler. He also has owned at least one of every 1:87 scale model of a Chrysler product. You can reach him directly at (206) 888-7324 or by using the form.

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