DETROIT --The Chrysler group outlined plans Tuesday to build small engines with Mitsubishi Motors Corp. and Hyundai Motor Co. at a plant the automakers will build just south of Detroit.
The plant will produce about 600,000 four-cylinder engines a year when it comes on line in 2005, and is part of a previously announced joint venture between the three companies dubbed the Global Engine Alliance, Chrysler said.
The same engine design will go into production in Japan and South Korea next year and will have combined annual output, together with the U.S. plant, of about 1.5 million engines, Chrysler CEO Dieter Zetsche said in a news conference in Auburn Hills, Mich.
He said the plant in Dundee, Mich., would have about 400 employees and help make Global Engine Alliance one of the world's biggest producers of a single family or design of engines.
DaimlerChrysler has a 10 percent stake in Hyundai, which is one of the world's fastest growing automakers, and it owns a controlling 37 percent of Mitsubishi.
Zetsche said the joint venture offered significant cost advantages and added that Hyundai and Mitsubishi would each take 30 percent of the output from the Michigan plant for vehicles they sell in North America.
Zetsche declined to comment on Chrysler's investment in the plant, but state government officials said the automaker had been provided with about $115 million in state and local financial incentives to build it in Michigan.
The state was among areas hardest hit by Chrysler layoffs over the past two years, when it cut about 26,000 jobs as part of a wrenching turnaround plan.