November 6, 2007
Chrysler dedicates new test facility in Arizona
Yucca, Arizona – Chrysler LLC dedicated its Arizona Proving Ground with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday, prior to planned expansion. The facility, located on former Ford proving ground lands in Yucca, represents a capital investment of US$34.9 million; Chrysler will make an additional US$10 million in facility upgrades.
The company will expand the new facility by building a new 21-metre-high test grade, along with several new road surfaces. The Proving Ground is scheduled to open during the second quarter of 2008, and will create approximately 75 jobs; the facility will eventually operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Vehicles under development and validation will be driven on the facility’s muddy roads, twisted asphalt, and on a high-speed oval track; extreme conditions include corrosion testing, water testing and salt immersion. The site, which will test approximately 2,000 vehicles per year, will also include a 17-acre flat vehicle dynamics area, a low-friction facility that duplicates the characteristics of ice and wet asphalt, checkerboard tile, brushed concrete, and two straightaway courses.
Chrysler originally owned and continues to operate a proving ground facility in Wittmann, Arizona, which it sold to a real estate development company in December 2005 and which it is leasing until mid-2008. The Yucca Proving Ground was owned by the Ford Motor Company from 1954 until October 2007; Ford announced it was selling the facility in January 2006, and Chrysler completed the sale on October 23, 2007.