Thursday, July 19, 2007

Chrysler confirms cash for Brampton

Jul 19, 2007 10:01 AM

Business ReporterChrysler confirmed today it will invest $1.2 billion on vehicle development and retooling at the company's Brampton assembly plant.

Frank Ewasyshyn, executive vice-president of manufacturing for the Chrysler Group, told workers at the plant this morning it will shift output of the Chrysler 300 sedan from a Magna International complex in Graz, Austria to the Brampton operation and move ahead a new generation of the model by one year to 2010.

Furthermore, he said the Brampton plant will build right and left side steering models for overseas markets and add a diesel version of the vehicle.

"You've done a helluva job this year," Ewasyshyn said.

Workers have improved productivity in recent years and agreed to a concession of about $5,000 in premium pay annually that will take effect in a month as a result of the investment.

The Star reported the company's plans earlier this week.

The spending includes about $500 million in retooling and upgrades in Brampton plus development and engineering for the new generation of the Chrysler 300 which turned into a hit after arriving in showrooms in 2004.

The plant also assembles the Dodge Magnum wagon and Charger sports car. It will start building the Dodge Challenger sports car next year and there is speculation it may eventually add a fifth vehicle.

More than 4,000 workers produced about 315,000 vehicles at the plant last year.

Earlier this week, the company said it would not proceed with production of the concept Imperial luxury car. Chrysler had planned to build it in Brampton.

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