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Chrysler to Announce New Axle Plant

$700-million project keyed to work-rule changes

April 18, 2007 — Today, Chrysler Group is expected to announce plans to build a new axle plant in Marysville, MI, a Detroit suburb, to replace its 90-year-old Detroit Axle operation.

The official news of the $700-million project will follow the results of a United Auto Workers local election at the current axle plant, a vote on new work rules that Chrysler says are critical to its future plans for the division. The rule changes involve work teams and cross-functional employees, and are reported to be similar to changes accepted by workers at Chrysler's GEMA engine complex in Dundee, MI.

Detroit Axle manufactures front- and rear-drive axles for Chrysler trucks, and trailing axles for Dodge and Chrysler mini-vans. Powertrain components for some Dodge and Chrysler passenger cars also are produced there.

The new axle plant is projected to be a workplace for about 900.

Reports also indicate Chrysler soon will unveil its plans for a new engine plant in Trenton, MI, adjacent to its existing plant there. The new plant would be the foundation for the Phoenix project outlined in DaimlerChrysler's February 2007 strategic plan. The project's goal is to reconfigure the group's six-cylinder engine platform from four models to a single design.

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