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Chrysler to Reopen Engine Plant to Build More Pentastars

Trenton North will supply components for sister plant in the same complex.

by on Jun.16, 2011

Chrysler will invest $114 million in its Trenton North engine plant to produce components for the Pentastar V-6 built across the street at Trenton South.

Chrysler Group announced that it would invest $114 million in new equipment at its Trenton Engine Complex to support increased production of the Pentastar V-6 engine. The investment is estimated to create 268 new jobs.

Chrysler will reopen the Trenton North plant, which closed in May, to produce components for the Pentastar engine, which is built on the same campus at Trenton South in Trenton, Mich.

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The Pentastar V-6 engine is one of the cornerstones of the Chrysler Group’s recent resurgence. Vehicles including the Jeep Grand Cherokee, Dodge Avenger, Dodge Grand Caravan, Dodge Journey, Dodge Charger, Dodge Challenger, Dodge Durango, Chrysler 200, Chrysler 200 Convertible and Chrysler Town & Country all offer the engine as either standard equipment or as an option. Reviews of the engine have been excellent and it is expected to get better as Chrysler adds more technology. For example, the engine was designed for direct injection, but that technology was not included on the first version.

The investment will be used to repurpose 400,000 square feet, or about one-fifth of the Trenton North plant.

The new engine will replace seven V-6 engines ranging in displacements from 2.7 to 4.0 liters by 2013 throughout the lineups of Chrysler, Jeep , Dodge and in the future, Ram trucks. seven current V-6 engines.

Chrysler expects the 3.6-liter V-6 to account for more than one-third of the powertrains sold by Chrysler by 2014. By using just one engine, Chrysler will significantly reduce the number of engine parts, simplifying everything from purchasing to parts storage. For example, Chrysler now has 14 V-6 camshaft variations, but that number will be reduced to just four. Similarly 14 different fuel rails will be replaced by two. In most applications it produces between 283 and 292 horsepower, but the Dodge Challenger gets a 305-horsepower version.

“As Chrysler Group moves to replace seven V-6 engines with the new Pentastar V-6, it has become necessary to add capacity on core components in order to meet the production demands of this new engine,” said Brian Harlow, Vice President and Head of Powertrain Manufacturing. “This investment has also given Trenton North, which has been building engines for nearly 60 years, a new lease on life.”

Since June 2009, Chrysler Group has invested nearly $3.2 billion in its U.S. facilities.

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