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Chrysler To Invest $1.8B in New Vehicle Programs

Chrysler LLC will invest approximately $1.8 billion in new vehicle programs, including a significant expansion and upgrade at its Jefferson North (Detroit) Assembly Plant to ready it for future production, starting in 2010.

The total program investment will go towards product development functions, as well as new, state-of-the-art manufacturing systems in the plant. This investment provides for the design, development, components and supplier support associated with the new vehicle programs.

Jefferson North will undergo a 285,000-square-foot building expansion to replace the existing body shop, which will give the facility an all-new level of manufacturing flexibility for multiple product capability. In addition, changes throughout paint and assembly operations will accommodate vehicles of various sizes and dimensions. Material handling and other plant functions also will be improved.

Multiple “green” initiatives will be employed at Jefferson North. Each of these additions will result in energy savings, as well as a brighter, cleaner and more ergonomically sound workplace for employees. Plus, these advancements will improve the environmental footprint of the facility by reducing carbon emissions, solid waste and raw material consumption while also helping to green the outside grounds of the plant. These include:

  • Energy-efficient fluorescent lighting fixtures and a state-of-the-art energy management system;

  • Air filtration systems to improve employee comfort and workplace cleanliness;

  • Decanting technology, which will utilize paint sludge as an energy source, reducing emissions and solid waste;

  • Electric-servo weld guns in the new body shop to improve welding quality for the vehicle bodies, while also producing quieter operations;

  • Replacing unused asphalt parking areas with grass to reduce heat generation and improve appearance;

  • Utilizing reusable paint clips that hold doors in place during the paint process and reusing parts racks, resulting in a reduced raw material consumption; and

  • Trailer cubing and rack density improvements to reduce fuel consumption and transportation costs.

The energy savings resulting from the sludge operations, filtration systems, lighting and servo welding alone are anticipated in total to save several dollars per vehicle built.



Chrysler's survival will require managers with visions and able to select the most appropiate products produced in the most appropriate places.

It is a very tall order.

Lower cost, totally new product lines would be required. Could it be updated e-K cars; including 50+ mpg HEVs; 100+ mpg PHEVs and BEVs with over 500 Km range?

Such a major shift may cost 10x more than the $1.8 patch up investment announced.

Chrysler may have to join other manufacturers (in China, India, Korea, Japan etc) to reduce cost and to survive for another 10 years or more.

Very challenging years ahead.


very challenging indeed.
however, now that chrysler is rid of daimler (bad marriage) they might regain their former scrappy self.

some very innovative things came our of chrysler. let's just hope they can pull a rabbit out of a hat very quickly.


If they follow the concepts/strategies they were using before they merged with Diamler, they will be fine. Genuinely innovative, relevant & revolutionary designs & products in every market segment. This is where they've fallen on hard times.

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