Chrysler Group Chairman and CEO Sergio Marchionne confirmed investments totaling $1.249 billion in two Saltillo facilities and the creation of 1,570 jobs during a dedication event at the new Van Assembly Plant today with President of Mexico Enrique Pea and Minister of Economy Ildefonso Guajardo.
Of the total investment, $1.085 billion was invested in the construction of the new Van Assembly Plant to produce the Ram ProMaster commercial vehicle. The additional $164 million will add a new production line to assemble Tigershark engines at the Saltillo North Engine Plant. Mexican development banks Bancomext and Nafin provided financial support for the Van Assembly Plant project.
The Van Assembly Plant, which began production in July 2013, will result in a total of more than 1,100 new jobs by December. The new investment at the North Engine Plant will create 470 new jobs. With this announcement, employment in Saltillo will grow to nearly 6,500. Both the Ram ProMaster and the Tigershark engine will be exported to different markets, based on Free Trade Agreements that Mexico has with several countries.
“I would like to thank President Enrique Pea Nieto for the support his administration has given us, first as Governor and now as President. He has always shown a great commitment to promoting strategically important projects,” said Marchionne. “All of this would not be possible without the extraordinary spirit of collaboration we have found in both the federal and state governments. We feel privileged to have the opportunity to contribute to the future growth of Mexico.”
As part of the visit, Marchionne and President Pea toured the new plant and greeted employees.
“I want you to know how much I appreciate your hard work and your dedication to the principles of World Class Manufacturing, which is enabling us to compete with the very best plants in the world,” Marchionne told employees during the ceremony.
The Ram ProMaster assembled in the new plant will be sold in Mexico, U.S.A. and Canada. It is the only vehicle of its kind to be produced in Mexico and joins the full line of products offered by the Ram brand. It has features that make it best-in-class, like a modern six-speed automatic transmission (unique for the segment), advanced security systems and vertical space that makes it more efficient to load. The ProMaster is based on the successful Fiat Ducato, which has earned an excellent reputation over three decades.
The 2.0-liter and 2.4-liter Tigershark engines will be assembled at the North Engine Plant alongside the Companys flagship HEMI V-8 engines. The 2.4-liter has the advanced MultiAir system, which combines excellent response throughout the revolutions range with low fuel consumption and emissions. The 2.4-liter engine powers the 2014 Jeep Cherokee and Dodge Dart. Production of the Tigershark engine line will begin in the first quarter 2014.
Currently, Chrysler Group’s North and South Engine Plants assemble a new engine every 17 seconds. The new production line will strengthen the role that Mexico plays as a strategic powertrain manufacturing site.