Chrysler Group said today it will invest $114 million to reopen a portion of a Michigan engine plant to build parts for a nearby engine factory.
The investment will create an estimated 268 jobs at the Trenton North engine plant that was closed in May, Chrysler said.
The automaker said it will renovate 400,000 square feet of the 2 million-square-foot plant to assemble components for the Pentastar V-6 engine, which is built at its Trenton South plant on the same campus.
"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," Brian Harlow, Chrysler's head of powertrain manufacturing, said in a statement. "This investment has also given Trenton North, which has been building engines for nearly 60 years, a new lease on life."
Last year, Chrysler began making the Pentastar engine at the Trenton South plant and at a plant in Saltillo, Mexico. The Pentastar engine is used in 10 Chrysler Group vehicles, including the Jeep Grand Cherokee, Dodge Challenger and Chrysler Town & Country.
At a special meeting Monday night, the Trenton City Council unanimously approved a 50 percent tax abatement for Chrysler for 12 years to encourage the investment.
"We want to thank the City of Trenton for approving our tax abatement request and their continued support," Harlow said in the statement.
Work on the plant could start this year, Trenton Mayor Gerald Brown said in an interview, adding that the factory could begin making parts in 2012.
The city, Brown said, met several times with Chrysler since April to discuss options for the Trenton North plant.
The reopening of the plant won't be an economic "windfall" for Trenton, but Brown said the jobs created will help solidify the city's economy.
The Trenton North plant opened in 1952 and built more than 38 million engines for Chrysler vehicles, the automaker said.