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  • New body shop adds more than one million square-feet to current footprint
  • Facility will build future products, beginning in 2013
  • Body shop to include state-of-the-art technology
  • Company’s total investment in U.S. facilities grows to nearly $3.5 billion since June 2009
Chrysler Group LLC Sterling Heights Assembly Plant

Chrysler Group LLC Sterling Heights Assembly Plant

October 18, 2011 , Auburn Hills, Mich. – Chrysler Group LLC announced today that it will invest $165 million to add a new one million square-foot body shop to its Sterling Heights (Mich.) Assembly Plant. This follows an announcement in December 2010 that the Company would invest nearly $850 million in a new paint shop for the plant and brings Chrysler Group’s total investment in its U.S. facilities to nearly $3.5 billion since June 2009.

“Today marks another milestone in the rags to riches story of the Sterling Heights Assembly Plant. A plant that was slated to close nearly two years ago will now be a state-of-the-art facility that will play an integral role in the success of this company by building the next generation of all-new vehicles.”

-Scott Garberding,
Senior Vice President and Head of Manufacturing
Chrysler Group LLC

Chrysler Group LLC Sterling Heights Assembly Plant

Chrysler Group LLC Sterling Heights Assembly Plant

The investment includes the construction of the new body shop as well as the installation of equipment and conveyors that will be some of the most advanced in the industry.

In December 2010, Chrysler Group announced that it would invest nearly $850 million in the construction of an all-new, state-of-the-art 425,000 square-foot paint shop. In addition, some of the $850 million will be invested in the local stamping facilities in Warren and Sterling Heights.

“Last year, Chrysler made the decision to continue operating the Sterling Heights Assembly Plant indefinitely, maintaining good manufacturing jobs in Michigan and securing the future for more than 1,200 employees. Today, the plant is thriving with 900 new employees and additional investment that recognizes the commitment and dedication of this highly skilled workforce toward building a successful Chrysler Group.”

-General Holiefield,
Vice President, UAW/Chrysler Department

Chrysler Group LLC Sterling Heights Assembly Plant

Chrysler Group LLC Sterling Heights Assembly Plant

Since June 2009, Chrysler Group has invested nearly $3.5 billion in its U.S. facilities and has made significant progress toward building a successful enterprise, including:

Chrysler Group LLC Sterling Heights Assembly Plant

Chrysler Group LLC Sterling Heights Assembly Plant

About the Sterling Heights Assembly Plant

The Sterling Heights Assembly Plant was built in 1953 as a jet engine plant and was operated by the Army as the Michigan Ordinance Missile Plant with Chrysler serving as contractor building Redstone and Jupiter missiles. It was converted to an automobile plant in 1980 by Volkswagen and purchased by Chrysler Corporation in 1983.

Production of Chrysler LeBaron GTS and Dodge Lancer began in September 1984. Dodge Shadow and Plymouth Sundance production began in 1985, and Dodge Daytona production began in 1991. Through the end of the 1991 model year, the facility had produced nearly 1.3 million vehicles. Production of the 2001 Dodge Stratus and Chrysler Sebring sedans began in the fall of 2000, followed by the Chrysler Sebring Convertible. The all-new 2007 Chrysler Sebring Sedan launched in August 2006, followed by the all-new 2008 Dodge Avenger and 2008 Chrysler Sebring Convertible. The new 2011 Chrysler 200, featured in the award-winning Super Bowl spot with Eminem, and Dodge Avenger began production in December 2010. The Chrysler 200 Convertible launched in February 2011.

About Chrysler Group LLC

Chrysler Group LLC, formed in 2009 from a global strategic alliance with Fiat S.p.A., produces Chrysler, Jeep®, Dodge, Ram, SRT, Fiat and Mopar vehicles and products. With the resources, technology and worldwide distribution network required to compete on a global scale, the alliance builds on Chrysler Group’s culture of innovation, first established by Walter P. Chrysler in 1925, and Fiat’s complementary technology that dates back to its founding in 1899.

Headquartered in Auburn Hills, Mich., Chrysler Group’s product lineup features some of the world’s most recognizable vehicles, including the Chrysler 300, Jeep Wrangler, Dodge Challenger and Ram 1500. Fiat contributes world-class technology, platforms and powertrains for small- and medium-size cars, allowing Chrysler Group to offer an expanded product line including environmentally friendly vehicles.

As always, click on any of the images in the post to see more photos of Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram Vehicles. Thanks again for checking out Chrysler Catchall!

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Photographers from the Detroit News have captured the 2011 Chrysler 200 Convertible out for a test drive. With the camo it’s still wearing the in front and rear, it pretty much looks like a Sebring, which it’s evolved from.

Seeing the 200 in Convertible form is not much of a surprise, as the Sebring has been very popular in drop top form in years prior.

Sporting a traditional soft top and two fewer doors, the 200 convertible will feature a 2.4-liter four-cylinder or a 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6. The latest word on transmissions is that a six-speed dual clutch will join the lineup on the upper-end models.

Watch for the Chrysler 200 convertible to hit Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram dealer lots next summer.

I had some unpublished photos of the 200 in its original form that I’ve also added to the gallery, so click the images below to see more!

 

2011 Chrysler 200 Convertible

2011 Chrysler 200 Convertible

2011 Chrysler 200

2011 Chrysler 200

The Sebring will be going through major changes for 2011 and will be rebranded the “Chrysler 200.” All Chrysler is saying so far is that Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram Dealers will be seeing these before the end of the 2010 year.

The Chrysler 200 not only gets a facelift, but it also gets a performance upgrade in the form of a V6 engine – a 283-horsepower version of the 3.6-liter Pentastar V6. There’s also 260 pound-feet of torque headed toward the front wheels, thanks to a six-speed automatic transmission. The 2.4L World Engine returns as well, but will now be paired with the 6 speed Automatic Transmission, which is an upgrade over the previous 4 speed.

The styling has also been improved with swept back head lights and a grille almost identical to the concept car Chrysler brought to the 2009 Detroit Auto Show. The rear end also shares some of the characteristics of the concept 200 from 2009. Although Chrysler hasn’t released any images, we’re told that the interior will be redesigned in the same vein as the interiors we’re seeing on the new Jeep Grand Cherokees, Dodge Durango, and Ram Trucks. We’ll post up again when we learn more! Thanks for checkin’ out Chrysler Catchall!

Click on the pictures below to see more!

Dodge dealers will be seeing the 2011 Dodge Avengers sometime between now and the end of the year. It will be getting an all new interior, redesigned exterior, and the option of better performance.

The new Avenger will come standard with a recalibrated version of the 2.4L  World Gas Engine, with the option of a six speed transmission. There is also the option of the new Pentastar V6 which puts out 283 horsepower and 260 lb.-ft. of torque with competitive fuel economy.

In addition to new tires, the suspension has also been completely retuned, resulting in a much more fun to drive vehicle with less body roll and shake, less noise, and more precise steering.

The Avenger’s “fun to drive” quotient rises exponentially for 2011 with a significantly upgraded suspension to give drivers agile, confident, handling performance in all driving situations, whether it’s a spirited adventure on twisty roads or an emergency maneuver. 

Dodge engineers retuned or redesigned virtually every part of the suspension for 2011, including 26 of 30 suspension bushings. The suspension and the geometry were completely rethought. The track is an inch wider, tire width increased from 215 to 225 millimeters, and the vehicle also sits lower to the ground, with a 12 millimeters lowered ride height on the front axle and 6 millimeters on the rear.

New exterior styling features clean, smooth aggressive lines. The new fascia sports the new signature Dodge Brand “split crosshair” grille, while an aggressive lower fascia completes the Dodge look from top to bottom.

The Chrysler Group LLC’s Interior Design Studio also worked its magic on the new 2011 Avenger. The all-new instrument panel, bezels, gauge faces and new Dodge steering wheel transform the driver seat into a cockpit-like experience. Upgraded seats incorporate more cushion material and revised spring geometry. Dodge Avenger also features several new two-tone interior color schemes, new leather and cloth seating materials and accent stitching. Owners can select from these schemes to design a vehicle that matches their lifestyle needs.

There’s no doubt, Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram Dealers are excited about its arrival, as the standard mid-size sedan segment is the largest vehicle segment in the United States, with more than 1.6 million vehicles sold in 2009. The customers have spoken, and Dodge has listened and is stepping up their game!

Click the image below for more photos!

A sedan using the same platform as the Alfa Romeo Giulietta is due to be made in the United States by the end of 2011, according to Sergio Marchionne, as quoted in Automotive News. It would fill the slot left black by the Neon, which has been empty since 2006.

The new Dodge compact sedan will be built in the United States and debut at the end of 2011. There will also be a high-mileage version that will get 40 mpg, Marchionne said. Manufacturing a Chrysler model in the United States that is capable of delivering 40 mpg is actually the second of three milestones Fiat must reach to increase its stake in Chrysler to 35 percent from 20 percent now.

 

According to the guys over at Allpar, “this car will use the Fiat C-EVO dimensions and electronics network, along with, most likely, a retuned Chrysler World Gas Engine and the 1.4 liter Fiat engine. Chrysler has access to Fiat technologies and may, due to the short timing, use some designs from the Giulietta.

 

Rumors are flying around about the name of the new Dodge. Most likely would be the Hornet, a concept car from 2006 that never made it into production.
Whatever they decide to call it, you probably won’t see it at your local Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram Dealer until late next year. Here’s a picture of what the folks at Allpar think it might look like…

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