Tower Automotive Inc. said on Tuesday it will shift frame-assembly production for the Dodge Ram pickup from its Milwaukee plant to a joint-venture plant in Mexico, a move done at the request of DaimlerChrysler AG.
The move is planned for the middle of 2005 and will start with frames for the 2006 model year. About 500 workers are expected to be laid off because of the move. The Milwaukee plant also produces frames for the Ford Motor Co. Ranger pickup.
Novi, Mich.-based Tower owns 40 percent of Metalsa S. de R.L. in Monterrey, Mexico, where the frame work is being moved.
This decision was made by Chrysler, said Bev Pierce, enterprise communications leader for Tower. They informed us that starting in 2006, they will be purchasing from Metalsa.
Tower produces frames and structural components for the auto industry.
Terry Kosdrosky is a staff reporter for Crain's Detroit Business, a sister publication to Automotive News.