With a visit from President Barack Obama today, Chrysler employees are undoubtedly an excitable lot. Even more exciting is news from Chrysler/Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne that Chrysler will keep its Sterling Heights Assembly Plant open, rather than close the plant in 2012 as it had previously planned. A second shift will also be added to the plant in Q1 of 2011.
The added shift is expected to fill 900 job positions at Chrysler and require 500 new supplier jobs. The Sterling Heights plant currently builds the Chrysler Sebring and Dodge Avenger – two cars undergoing revamps for the near future.
During a conference call earlier this week, Marchionne said of the Sebring/Avenger revamp, “We have carried out significant surgery on the architecture of those cars and made significant improvements of the interiors.”
A revised exterior is rumored for both models. When the new Sebring launches, it will be the first Chrysler vehicle to use the automaker’s new six-speed dual-clutch automated manual transmission. The Sebring will also receive a version of Chrysler’s new Pentastar V-6 engine.
Chrysler also announced plans to ramp up its sales efforts abroad. The automaker expects to sell nearly 200,000 vehicles in Europe and South America next year — a figure that is roughly double the number of vehicles Chrysler plans to sell in those areas by the end of 2010.
Stay tuned to Automobile Magazine for all your future car news, including more on the updated Chrysler Sebring and Dodge Avenger.