- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 11, 2003

AUBURN HILLS, Mich., Feb. 11 (UPI) — DaimlerChrysler AG, Mitsubishi and Hyundai Tuesday chose Dundee, Mich., as the site for a new 4-cylinder engine plant in a joint venture expected to employ 400 people by 2007.

Gov. Jennifer Granholm, Chrysler Chief Executive Officer Dieter Zetsche and United Auto Workers Vice President Nate Gooden announced plans for the 450,000-square-foot plant, which will occupy a 245-acre site in southern Michigan near the Ohio border.

The three companies formed the Global Engine Alliance in May to design, develop and manufacture a family of inline 4-cylinder engines for use in small fuel-efficient vehicles.

Two state government agencies, the Village of Dundee and internal corporate boards must approve final selection of the Michigan site before ground can be broken.

"We are moving aggressively ahead with our plans to build a facility and begin production of a new family of fuel- and emissions-efficient powerplants," said Zetsche. "These engines will power future generations of Chrysler Group vehicles and may also supply the needs of our Alliance."

Production of the new engine will begin at Hyundai Motor Co. facilities in South Korea next year and Mitsubishi will produce the powerplant in Japan. The two firms are Chrysler's Asian partners.

Germany's DaimlerChrysler AG owns more than 37 percent of Mitsubishi Motors Corp. and 10 percent of Hyundai.

The U.S. facility, called the Global Engine alliance LLC, is expected to begin production in 2005 and worldwide production is expected to reach 1.5 million engines.

"Approximately 400 jobs will be created at the plant within five years," said the UAW's Gooden. "This new plant will provide an excellent opportunity for Michigan workers to demonstrate their talents, hard work and dedication."

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