To meet increased demand for its Pentastar V-6 engine, Chrysler announced it will invest $114 million to retool its Trenton North Engine Plant in Michigan to produce components for the new engine. The planned revival of the facility will create an estimated 268 new jobs and will breathe life into one-fifth of Trenton North, which has sat unused since May. The announcement is part of a larger $3.2-billion investment in revamping and improving Chrysler’s U.S. manufacturing facilities.
The 3.6-liter Pentastar engine, which replaced Chrysler’s multiple V-6 engine families used in its past vehicles, has found its way into 10 Chrysler Group models, including the Jeep Grand Cherokee, Dodge Charge, Chrysler 200 and others. The Pentastar is also expected to be offered in the 2012 Jeep Wrangler and 2012 Ram 1500 pickup. The Pentastar was also recently recognized by Ward’s Automotive with a spot on its annual “Ten Best Engines” list.
By retooling the engine plant at Trenton North, Chrysler will make use of nearly 400,000 square feet of its sizeable area and put an estimated 268 people back to work. According to Brian Harlow, Vice President and head of powertrain manufacturing at Chrysler, the investment will give the plant a new lease on life, while also meeting the production needs of the new Pentastar engine.
Gerald Brown, Mayor of Trenton, said that the $114-million project will provide the city, which has a history with Chrysler dating back to the 1950s, with long term stability along with additional jobs and tax base improvements. The Trenton Engine Complex is just one of the facilities Chrysler has invested in since 2009, having spent nearly $1.3 billion on the company’s existing transmission plant in Kokomo, IN, with planned multi-million-dollar investments in its Belvedere and Sterling Heights assembly plants and GEMA facility in Dundee, MI, among others.