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Chrysler adding four-cylinder line?

by David Zatz on

With the Dodge Dart soon to launch, with all indications suggesting it will greatly increase demand for four-cylinder engines, Chrysler’s production capacity (decreased by Cerberus) is likely to be a constraint on sales. Unlike the 200/Avenger and Journey, Dart only has four-cylinder options. While there are many possible sites for increased production around Detroit, Chrysler appears to have settled on Trenton Engine again, with one or two new assembly lines planned in the old Trenton North plant. Trenton South is one of two Pentastar V6 plant, belting out the hot new engines, and the old Trenton North plant, which made V8 and V6 engines as well as the “Neon” fours, was set to be demolished. Instead, it’s been completely gutted and now produces parts for the Pentastar V6, but there’s still plenty of room for two four cylinder lines — one for the “Tiger Shark” line of engines (2.0 and 2.4 liter), and one for Fiat 1.4 turbos, if needed.

Extra four cylinder capacity will be increasingly important to Chrysler if the Dart hits Neon levels of popularity and Compass takes on both Compass and Patriot sales levels in its next incarnation, especially given the number of new compact, subcompact, and midsized cars planned for American production. Engines for the Fiat 500 are currently made at GEMA, and while sales have been relatively low, the engine is not unique to the little car, and sales are expected to rise as more dealers come online. [Trenton Engine plant]

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