DETROIT -- Chrysler Group says it is considering investing nearly $200 million into its Mack I Engine Plant in Detroit to boost production of the V-6 Pentastar engine.
The company said it is working with the City of Detroit and State of Michigan on an incentive package before it commits to the project, which Chrysler says could create about 250 new manufacturing jobs.
Chrysler said last week that it plans to idle the adjacent Mack II Engine Plant in September as it ends production of its 3.7-liter V-6 engine. About 200 employees in the plant received layoff notices, but they will be redeployed to other Chrysler plants in the area.
The 1.4-million-square-foot Mack I Engine Plant was purchased by Chrysler in 1953, and began producing engines in 1998. If the plan is approved, it would be the third Chrysler engine plant to build Pentastar engines; the other two plants are in Trenton, Mich., and Saltillo, Mexico.
Chrysler spokeswoman Jodi Tinson said that if Chrysler can reach an agreement with state and local officials, Mack I would stop producing 4.7-liter V-8 engines and start producing Pentastar V-6 models by the end of 2013.
Currently, all Pentastar engines have displacements of 3.6 liters, but Chrysler's product plan says the automaker is considering other displacement sizes. Tinson said she could not comment on whether Mack I would build a 3.6-liter or other sized version of the engine.
In 2009, Chrysler produced five V-6 engines ranging in displacement from 3.3-liters to 4.0-liters. Since then, the company has been phasing out other V-6 offerings in favor of the 3.6-liter Pentastar, which now powers most of the automaker's best-selling vehicles.
Chrysler has been looking to expand production of its 3.6-liter Pentastar engine. It canceled the annual summer shutdown this year at its Trenton engine plant and has been working overtime at both Trenton and Saltillo.