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Chrysler confirms Mexico investment

by David Zatz on

Today, Chrysler confirmed a story that Allpar broke on October 7, which Detroit News apparently by coincidence reported on a day later: investments in Mexico to produce engines and vans, with an associated visit by President of Mexico Enrique Peña and Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne.

Two Saltillo, Mexico facilities (actually placed in nearby Ramos Arizpe) will gain $1.25 billion in investments and the creation of 1,570 jobs. While the ProMaster van plant technically started Job One in July, today was the official dedication. Unofficial source “Mr. Source” told us that 930 people are building seven to eleven ProMasters per hour; employment at the van plant is not yet at its full level.

saltillo

Around $1 billion was invested in the new Van Assembly Plant to produce the Ram ProMaster. Another $164 million is going, as Mr. Source predicted, to assemble Tigershark engines at the Saltillo North Engine Plant. Mexican development banks Bancomext and Nafin provided financial support for the van plant.

Employment at the Saltillo complex will grow to nearly 6,500. Both the Ram ProMaster and the Tigershark engine will be exported, based on Mexico’s Latin American and North American free trade agreements; the country’s inclusion in both free trade regions likely tipped the balance in its favor, since commercial trucks  carry heavy import duties.

The Ram ProMaster assembled in the new plant will be sold in Mexico, U.S.A. and Canada. It is the only vehicle of its kind to be produced in Mexico, with a modern six-speed automatic transmission (unique for the segment), advanced security systems, and vertical space that makes it more efficient to load.

The 2.0-liter and 2.4-liter Tigershark engines will be assembled at the North Engine Plant starting in the first quarter 2014, though Chrysler appears to have considerable extra capacity in Dundee, Michigan, much closer to the Cherokee, 200, and Dart plants.

 

David Zatz founded Allpar in 1998 (based on a site he had begun in 1993-94), after years of writing reviews for retail trades. He has been quoted by the New York Times, the Daily Telegraph, the Detroit News, and USA Today. Before making Allpar a full-time career, he was a consultant in organizational psychology. You can reach him by using our contact form (much preferred) or by calling (313) 766-2304


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