July 26, 2002
Wisconsin engine plant to build engine for new Chrysler Pacifica
Kenosha, Wisconsin – On Wednesday, the Chrysler Group dedicated a new 500,000 square-foot expansion of its Kenosha Engine Plant with the launch of the 3.5-litre V6 engine that will power the all-new Chrysler Pacifica, which begins production in early 2003.
The 3.5-litre production launch marks the completion of the plant’s $624 million modernization and expansion program that began in 1999, and coincides with the city of Kenosha’s Automotive Centennial celebration.
The design and functionality of the new 3.5-litre engine was derived from the Chrysler 300M, Chrysler Concorde and Dodge Intrepid engine. An all-new dual-intake manifold provides an upgrade to the Kenosha-built engine. The plant currently produces the 4.0-litre I-6 rear-wheel drive and 2.7-litre V6 front-wheel drive engines for use in the Chrysler Concorde and Sebring, Dodge Stratus and Intrepid and Jeep Grand Cherokee and Wrangler.
The production version of the all-new 2004 Chrysler Pacifica sports-tourer was introduced earlier this year at the New York International Auto Show. Production of the 2004 Chrysler Pacifica will begin in early 2003 at Chrysler Group’s Windsor Assembly Plant, (Windsor, Ontario, Canada). Pacifica will be built on its own, unique platform, but will use existing corporate components, including the 3.5-litre V6 engine.
At full production, Kenosha Engine will employ more than 1,700 team members and has the capacity to produce 780,000 engines annually on a two-shift operation. The 1.8 million square-foot facility currently employs 1,675 workers, who produce more than 2,000 units per day. Since 1997, Chrysler Group has invested $1.2 billion in the Kenosha facility, including Wednesday’s announcement.
The current Kenosha Engine production site opened in 1917, housing Nash Motors, Nash-Kelvinator, American Motors, Chrysler Corporation and, now, Chrysler Group. The facility has produced everything from Nash Ramblers, Chrysler Fifth Avenue and Dodge Diplomats to the 2.5-litre, 2.7-litre and 4.0-litre engines for more than two decades of Jeep and Chrysler nameplates. As a result of continuous improvement, teamwork and commitment, LaSorda said, “The auto factory town will continue to benefit from the Kenosha production site for years to come.”