V6 plant tools up

The Chrysler Group intends to invest $450m in its Kenosha, Wisconsin Engine Plant for a comprehensive retooling.


The Chrysler Group intends to invest $450m in its Kenosha, Wisconsin Engine Plant for a comprehensive retooling in preparation for the launch of a new family of fuel-efficient V6 engines.


The investment and retooling are part of a powertrain programme that will commit a total of $3bn in the development of the new engines – known as Phoenix engines – in addition to a dual-clutch transmission joint venture with German parts maker Getrag and new common axle family.


Scheduled to begin production in January 2011, the plant will have an annual production capacity of 400,000 Phoenix units when it reaches full volume.


‘This retooling investment will allow us to build an entirely new, globally competitive family of V-6 engines,’ said Richard Chow-Wah, Vice President of Powertrain Manufacturing.


Retooling for the Kenosha Phoenix Engine Plant will begin in June 2010 and once the plant is fully operational, the plant will employ 700 full-time workers.


Chrysler Group has had a presence in Kenosha since 1987, when American Motors was acquired by Chrysler Corporation. The company’s current 2.7-litre V6 has been produced there since 1997. The company’s 3.5-litre V-6 was launched in 1999, part of a $624m modernisation of the plant. The plant itself was built in 1917.