Chrysler Group has removed a production shift at its Dundee Engine plant on the line that builds 1.4-liter engines for the Fiat 500 subcompact and some Dodge Dart variants. According to a spokeswoman for Chrysler, they let go of 14 probationary employees and reassigned 44 others to other engine production lines at the engine plant.
Aside from the 1.4-liter engine, the Dundee Engine plant also builds 2.0- and 2.4-liter I-4 engines for several Chrysler vehicles. Although the 1.4-liter is the only available engine for the Fiat 500, it is only offered as an option for the Dodge Dart, which is powered by the 2.0-liter Tigershark engine as standard. Customers who want their Darts powered by the 1.4-liter turbocharged engine should be ready to pay an additional $1,000.
The 1.4-liter turbocharged engine and the 2.0-liter powerplant are both capable of providing 160 hp. However, the smaller engine achieves an additional 36 pounds-feet of torque, to 184 pounds-feet. According to the Automotive News Data Center, although sales of the Dodge Dart have been rising in the seven months since its rollout, inventories of the vehicle was at 141–day supply as of Jan. 1, 2013.
Chrysler has announced it will roll out a new Dart GT model powered by a 2.4-liter naturally aspirated I-4 engine this spring at a lower price. The 2.4-liter engine could provide up to 184 hp of power than the smaller displacement engine, but achieves less torque at 171 pounds-feet.