DETROIT -- As demand for the Chrysler 300 remains strong, the Chrysler group is weighing whether to build its rear-wheel-drive passenger cars in a second assembly plant, CEO Dieter Zetsche said.
The company's Newark, Del., assembly plant is a likely candidate, according to an industry source. In 2003, Chrysler expanded the body shop at Newark as part of a $180 million renovation for the redesigned 2004 Dodge Durango.
Chrysler could add a third shift at the Brampton, Ontario, plant that builds the LX-platform rwd vehicles, expand capacity at Newark or do both.
Zetsche is pushing for a speedy decision. Buzz Hargrove, president of the Canadian Auto Workers, said top-level meetings are scheduled Wednesday, Oct. 13, and Thursday, Oct. 14.
Chrysler has confirmed that it is considering adding a third shift at Brampton. In an interview with Automotive News last week, Zetsche said discussions include a possible second assembly plant.
"We have technical feasibility studies to enable us to do so," Zetsche said. "We have options, and we are weighing them against each other to find the best one."