Canadian Manufacturing

Once slated for closure, Chrysler adding 800 jobs at Michigan plant

Sterling Heights Assembly Plant adding jobs to support production of redesign Chrysler 200 sedan



STERLING HEIGHTS, Mich.—A Michigan assembly plant slated for closure just four years ago has now added 800 jobs as Chrysler gets set to ramp up production of its redesigned midsize sedan.

Slated for closure in December 2010, the automaker’s Sterling Heights Assembly Plant (SHAP) in the Detroit suburbs will see its number of employees jump to 2,800 to support the production of the 2015 Chrysler 200, Chrysler Group LLC chief executive Sergio Marchionne announced last week.

Chrysler announced the planned closure of the decades old plant in June 2009 as it looked to reorganize its operations at the height of the recession.

Set to close by the end of the year, in March 2010 the automaker announced plans to repurchase the former jet engine plant, extending production there through 2012.

Less than six months later, though, Chrysler said it would add a second shift at SHAP, keeping it open indefinitely.

The automaker also announced more than US$1-billion in investments in the facility to add new machinery, tooling and material-handling equipment, as well as new paint and body shops.

With the new facilities and equipment, Chrysler said the plant is now one of its most flexible, with the ability to build multiple vehicles on two unique architectures.

Built in 1953, SHAP served as a jet engine plant before being converted to an auto plant in 1980 by Volkswagen Group.

The former Chrysler Corp. bought the facility in 1983.

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