Chrysler Group is adding in March 2013 a third shift at its Warren Truck plant and is modifying a part of its Mack Engine complex in Detroit to produce more Pentastar V-6 engines. According to a Chrysler spokeswoman, the moves represent around $238 million in additional investment in the Detroit area, resulting to the creation of 1,250 new jobs.
Chrysler chief executive Sergio Marchionne and Detroit Mayor Dave Bing were expected to make a formal announcement of the moves at the Mack plant. An increase in Chrysler’s engine production is expected to ease the carmaker’s 3.6-liter V-6 engines, which power most of its lineup of larger sedans, minivans, pickups and sports utility vehicles.
Chrysler said that the Pentastar output could be any variation, which includes 3.6- and 3.2-liter versions. The carmaker was also scheduled to announce a $40 million investment for a portion of the Trenton Engine plant, which produces the 3.6-liter V-6.
The Trenton Engine plant will soon commence building a 3.2-liter version of the V-6 that would be fitted in the replacement for the Jeep Liberty. The plant will also begin building additional inline-four Tigershark engines that are currently produced only in Dundee, Mich. Chrysler said it would add a third shift at Warren Truck in the spring, but it didn’t give a specific date.
The company has been considering the third shift since before it unveiled the re-engineered 2013 Ram pickup, which started arriving in dealerships late October. Available for the 2013 Ram pickup is an optional powertrain that links the 3.6-liter V-6 with Chrysler's Torqueflite eight-speed transmission, allowing it to return fuel economy of up to 18 mpg on city driving and 25 mpg on highway driving. Chrysler posted a 20 percent jump in Ram sales in the first 10 months of 2012 to 238,815 units.