Chrysler Invests $1.2B in Engine and Assembly Plants in Mexico

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Chrysler has invested roughly $1.2 billion in two facilities located in Saltillo, Mexico, said Sergio Marchionne, chairman and CEO of the Chrysler Group, during a dedication event Thursday.

Of the investment, nearly $1.1 billion was spent on the construction of the Van Assembly Plant, which began production of the Ram ProMaster in July and will add 1,100 jobs by December. An additional $164 million was used for a new production line to assemble Tigershark engines at the Saltillo North Engine Plant, creating 470 new jobs.

As a result of the investment, Chrysler says employment in Saltillo will grow to nearly 6,500 employees.

“All of this would not be possible without the extraordinary spirit of collaboration we have found in both the federal and state governments,” Marchionne said in a statement. “We feel privileged to have the opportunity to contribute to the future growth of Mexico.”

Production of the 2.4-liter Tigershark engine, which powers the 2014 Jeep Cherokee and Dodge Dart, will begin in the first quarter of 2014. Both the engine and the Ram ProMaster, based on the Fiat Ducato, will be exported to different markets as result of free trade agreements between Mexico and several countries.

Mexican development banks Bancomext and Nafin provided financial support for the Van Assembly Plant project.

In other Chrysler news, the automaker announced that after 35 years with the company, Nancy Rae will retire as senior vice president of human resources on Jan. 1. Michael Keegan, who will continue his role as senior vice president of supply chain management until a replacement is named, will replace her.

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