Auburn Hills, Michigan – Chrysler LLC has announced that it will invest approximately US$1.8 billion in new vehicle programs, including a significant expansion and upgrade at its Jefferson North Assembly Plant in Detroit to ready it for future production, starting in 2010. Chrysler Vice-Chairman and President Tom LaSorda made the announcement during a speech at the 2008 Management Briefing Seminars in Traverse City, Michigan.

“This investment in our future products and at Jefferson North will enable the company to produce a future generation of vehicles more efficiently, with world-class quality and an improved environmental footprint,” LaSorda said. “Furthermore, this commitment reinforces the long-standing partnership between Chrysler LLC, the City of Detroit and the State of Michigan.”

The plant will undergo a 285,000-square-foot expansion to replace its existing body shop, which will give the facility a new level of manufacturing flexibility for multiple product capability. There will also be changes throughout the paint and assembly operations to accommodate vehicles of various sizes and dimensions, improved material handling and other plant functions, new employee training, and multiple “green” initiatives, including energy-efficient lighting, air filtration systems, electric-servo weld guns, and decanting technology that will use paint sludge as an energy source.

The company said that the energy savings resulting from the sludge operations, filtration systems, lighting and servo welding alone are expected to save several dollars per vehicle built.

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