Chrysler drops one shift at Dundee Engine plant line
The Dundee Engine plant between Ann Arbor, Mich., and Toledo, Ohio, opened in October 2005.
Chrysler Group has eliminated a shift of production at its Dundee Engine plant on the line that builds 1.4-liter engines, including the turbocharged version, for the Fiat 500 subcompact and some variations of the Dodge Dart.
A spokeswoman for the automaker said 14 probationary employees were let go, and another 44 were reassigned to other engine production at the plant.
In addition to the 1.4-liter engine, Dundee also builds 2.0- and 2.4-liter I-4 engines for a number of Chrysler vehicles.
Sales of both the Fiat 500 and Dodge Dart have been rising, but the 1.4-liter is the only engine available in the Fiat 500.
The Dart uses the 2.0-liter Tigershark engine as its standard powerplant. Customers are required to pay about $1,000 more to purchase a Dart with the 1.4-liter turbocharged engine, which provides the same 160 hp as the 2.0-liter engine, but puts out an additional 36 pounds-feet of torque, to 184 pounds-feet.
Dart sales have been rising in the seven months since its introduction, but inventories stood at a 141–day supply as of Jan. 1, according to the Automotive News Data Center.
Chrysler has said it will introduce a new Dart GT model with a 2.4-liter naturally aspirated I-4 engine this spring at a lower price. The 2.4-liter engine boasts a higher, 184 hp rating than the smaller displacement engine, but puts out less torque: 171 pounds-feet.
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