Detroit-area Chrysler plants to be upgraded

March 22, 2005

The Chrysler Group today announced the investment of more than a half-billion dollars in two Sterling Heights, Mich. facilities, pending Board of Management approval. The Sterling Heights Assembly Plant (SHAP) will get new tooling and equipment to build the company's next generation mid-size vehicles and will have the ability to produce a second, small vehicle line as well. The Sterling (Heights) Stamping Plant will get state-of-the-art tooling and dies that will add capacity, flexibility and lean stamping processes.

The announcement was made today at the Chrysler Group's Sterling Stamping Plant and was attended by Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm and Nate Gooden, vice president and director of the DaimlerChrysler Department, International United Auto Workers. Also in attendance were Sterling Heights Mayor Richard Notte, employees, and other guests.

The Sterling Heights Assembly Plant and the Sterling Stamping Plant have more than 2,500 employees each.

$278 million will be invested into assembly operations at Sterling Heights Assembly Plant to overhaul the body shop and improve the paint shop and assembly areas, including new tooling and about 620 welding and material handling robots. Further, the plant will have the capability to build multiple upper bodies and multiple car platforms, which will allow for the flexibility to add new models or "cross-load" models from other plants in order to better meet the dynamics of the market. The plant will build the replacements for the Chrysler Sebring and Dodge Stratus, and have the ability to produce the replacement for the Dodge Neon, should market demand lead to that in the future.

Another $228 million will improve stamping operations at Sterling Stamping Plant and SHAP, including replacing 50 material handling and weld robots at Sterling Stamping.

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