January 3, 2003
Chrysler, Hyundai, Mitsubishi to operate new engine plant in U.S.
Los Angeles, California – Chrysler Group President and CEO Dieter Zetsche kicked off the 2003 auto show season by announcing plans for Chrysler Group, Hyundai Motor Company and Mitsubishi Motors Corporation to jointly operate a North American production facility that will produce a co-developed World Engine.
In a speech at the Los Angeles Auto Show, Zetsche said that the three automakers have signed a Memorandum of Understanding, which leads to that unique arrangement. “The North American plant will be co-managed by executives from all three partner companies, with Chrysler Group in the lead,” Zetsche said.
DaimlerChrysler announced in May 2002 that the three companies had entered into a joint venture to design, develop and engineer a family of four cylinder engines under the formation of a separate company, titled “Global Engine Alliance, LLC.”
The World Engine will be manufactured in production facilities located in Korea, Japan and the United States. Prior to this announcement, it was expected that all production facilities would be individually managed.
A decision on the U.S. facility’s location and its ground breaking is expected sometime this quarter. Actual production at the North American facility will begin in 2005.
The first Global Engine Alliance partner to manufacture the engine will be Hyundai, which will begin production in 2004 at a yet-to-be-determined plant in Korea.
Total annual World Engine production is estimated at over 1.5 million units. Once up and running, this joint venture could become the highest volume engine family in the world.
“These engines will power future generations of fuel-efficient Chrysler Group, Hyundai and Mitsubishi small and mid-size vehicles,” stated Zetsche. “Vehicles that will be well-suited for the California market, as well as markets all over the world.”
Chrysler Group is a business unit of DaimlerChrysler AG. DaimlerChrysler AG also holds equity positions in Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (more than 37%) and Hyundai Motor Company (more than 10%).