Looks like fears of a possible sale aren't scaring the product planners at Chrysler. Recognizing that the show must go on, the group announced a plan to build $1.78 billion worth of capacity over the next few years. According to this Automotive News piece, a new $730 million engine plant is a big part of that plan. The plant will be built in Trenton, Mich. and will concentrate on the production of the automaker's new range of fuel-efficient V-6 "Phoenix" engines. Also in the works are a new $700 million axle plant in Marysville, Mich., and a $300 million investment in the paint shop at their Sterling Heights, Mich. assembly plant.

Chrysler had actually announced many of these upgrades in February, when they pledged about $3 billion to build and revamp plants for the new engines, and the new investments don't change the fact that Chrysler is still planning to cut 13,000 jobs in their overall plan to return to profitability by 2008. New fuel-efficient engines and a renewed focus on cars is hoped to be the solution for record losses due to lower demand for the company's trucks and SUVs. Everybody loves the Hemi, but it ain't exactly a gas-sipper. As part of the new announcement, The Michigan Economic Development Corp. (a state agency) said Chrysler would be getting $11.2 million in tax concessions over the next eight years.

[Source: Automotive News, sub. req'd]

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