Chrysler Group chairman and CEO Sergio Marchionne has confirmed spending totaling US$1.249bn at two Saltillo, Mexico, factories and the creation of 1,570 jobs during a dedication event at the new van assembly plant.
Of the total, $1.085bn was spent building the van plant to produce the Ram ProMaster commercial vehicle, a NAFTA variant of the Ducato Fiat builds in a joint venture with PSA in Europe - there also Peugeot and Citron versions.
The additional $164m will add a new production line to assemble Tigershark engines at the Saltillo North Engine Plant. Mexican development banks Bancomext and Nafin provided financial support for the van plant project.
The van plant began production last July 2013 and will have added 1,100 new jobs by December. The engine plant will add 470 jobs taking employment in Saltillo to nearly 6,500. The ProMaster and Tigershark engine will both be exported under free trade agreements that Mexico has with several countries.
The ProMaster will be sold in Mexico, US and Canada. It is the only vehicle of its kind to be produced in Mexico. Its six-speed automatic transmission is claimed to unique to the segment.
The engine plant will assemble two and 2.4 litre Tigershark engines alongside Hemi V8s. The 2.4 has Fiat's advanced MultiAir system and is used in the 2014 Jeep Cherokee and Dodge Dart. Production will begin in the first quarter of 2014.
Chrysler de Mexico was established in 1938 and is headquartered in Santa Fe. It has six plants located in Toluca and Saltillo, and an automotive engineering centre in Mexico City. Factories include Toluca assembly and stamping plants, Saltillo truck assembly and stamping plants and two engine plants.
Toluca makes body panels and assembles the Dodge Journey, Fiat 500 and Fiat Freemont. Saltillo makes 5.7 and 6.4 litre Hemi V8s and the 3.6 litre Pentastar V6 and builds Ram 1500, 2500/3500, Mega Cab, 3500 Chassis Cab, 4500/5500 and DX chassis cab truck models plus related body panels.
The engineering centre includes vehicle testing, pollution/emission labs, material engineering, metrology, and engine and transmission dynamometers.
Press release follows:
Chrysler Group Confirms Investments Totaling $1.249 Billion in Two Saltillo, Mexico, Facilities to Produce Commercial Vehicle and New Line of Engines President Peña joins Chrysler Group CEO for plant dedication event New plant constructed to assemble Ram ProMaster with investment of $1.085 billion More than 1,100 employed at new plant Promaster only truck of its kind to be produced in Mexico Company to invest $164 million to add production of Tigershark engine at North Engine Plant Engine investment will create 470 new jobs October 10, 2013 , Saltillo, Coahuila - Chrysler Group Chairman and CEO Sergio Marchionne confirmed investments totaling $1.249 billion in two Saltillo facilities and the creation of 1,570 jobs during a dedication event at the new Van Assembly Plant today with President of Mexico Enrique Peña and Minister of Economy Ildefonso Guajardo.
Of the total investment, $1.085 billion was invested in the construction of the new Van Assembly Plant to produce the Ram ProMaster commercial vehicle. The additional $164 million will add a new production line to assemble Tigershark engines at the Saltillo North Engine Plant. Mexican development banks Bancomext and Nafin provided financial support for the Van Assembly Plant project.
The Van Assembly Plant, which began production in July 2013, will result in a total of more than 1,100 new jobs by December. The new investment at the North Engine Plant will create 470 new jobs. With this announcement, employment in Saltillo will grow to nearly 6,500. Both the Ram ProMaster and the Tigershark engine will be exported to different markets, based on Free Trade Agreements that Mexico has with several countries.
"I would like to thank President Enrique Peña Nieto for the support his administration has given us, first as Governor and now as President. He has always shown a great commitment to promoting strategically important projects," said Marchionne. "All of this would not be possible without the extraordinary spirit of collaboration we have found in both the federal and state governments. We feel privileged to have the opportunity to contribute to the future growth of Mexico."
As part of the visit, Marchionne and President Peña toured the new plant and greeted employees.
"I want you to know how much I appreciate your hard work and your dedication to the principles of World Class Manufacturing, which is enabling us to compete with the very best plants in the world," Marchionne told employees during the ceremony.
The Ram ProMaster assembled in the new plant will be sold in Mexico, U.S.A. and Canada. It is the only vehicle of its kind to be produced in Mexico and joins the full line of products offered by the Ram brand. It has features that make it best-in-class, like a modern six-speed automatic transmission (unique for the segment), advanced security systems and vertical space that makes it more efficient to load. The ProMaster is based on the successful Fiat Ducato, which has earned an excellent reputation over three decades.
The 2.0-liter and 2.4-liter Tigershark engines will be assembled at the North Engine Plant alongside the Company´s flagship HEMI® V-8 engines. The 2.4-liter has the advanced MultiAir system, which combines excellent response throughout the revolutions range with low fuel consumption and emissions. The 2.4-liter engine powers the 2014 Jeep® Cherokee and Dodge Dart. Production of the Tigershark engine line will begin in the first quarter 2014.
Currently, Chrysler Group's North and South Engine Plants assemble a new engine every 17 seconds. The new production line will strengthen the role that Mexico plays as a strategic powertrain manufacturing site.
About Chrysler de Mexico
Chrysler de Mexico was established in 1938 and is headquartered in Santa Fe. It has six plants located in Toluca and Saltillo, and one automotive engineering center located in Mexico City. Facilities include Toluca Assembly Plant, Toluca Stamping Plant, Saltillo Truck Assembly Plant, Saltillo Engine Plant Ramos Arizpe, Saltillo Stamping Plant, and Saltillo South Engine Plant. Since 2009, Chrysler de Mexico has been implementing World Class Manufacturing (WCM), a production methodology designed to reduce waste, has increased productivity and has restored dignity to the employees in all of its plants.
The Toluca Complex provides body panels and final assembly for Dodge Journey, Fiat 500 and Fiat Freemont. The Saltillo facilities manufacture the 5.7-liter V-8 HEMI® engine, 6.4-liter V-8 HEMI engine and 3.6-liter V-6 Pentastar engine. They also build the Ram 1500, Ram 2500/3500, Ram Mega Cab, Ram 3500 Chassis Cab, Ram 4500/5500 and the DX Chassis Cab (Mexican market), plus related body panels.
The Chrysler Automotive Engineering Center was created to develop, evaluate and test new vehicles to ensure they satisfy government requirements. The Engineering Center includes vehicle testing facilities, pollution/emission labs, material engineering, metrology, and engine and transmission dynamometers.