By Paul Rachwal
Thursday, Nov 15th, 2012 @ 1:10 pm
 

Amid somber news of plant slow-downs and job cuts elsewhere in the world, Chrysler has reversed the trend by announcing it will add a shift and boost engine output at three factories in Michigan. The $238 million move will reportedly create about 1,250 new jobs.

The plant calls for adding a third shift at the Warren Truck plant that assembles the Ram 1500 pick-up trucks. The third shift will go online in March and is expected to create about 1,000 new jobs.

Revamping a part of its Mack 1 Engine complex to build more Pentastar V6 engines to meet growing demand is expected to account for the remaining 250 new jobs, The Detroit News reported. The addition of Pentastar V6 production at the plant confirms earlier rumors and $198 million is earmarked for the undertaking.

A smaller, 3.2-liter version of the Pentastar will also be produced, which was rumored earlier this year. It should debut under the hood of a successor to the current Jeep Liberty.

The remaining $40 million will go to create a flexible engine assembly plant at the Trenton Engine plant that can build either of the two Pentastar V6 engines as well as the Tigershark inline-four found in the Dart, in both 2.0- and 2.4-liter displacements. The plant now builds the 3.6-liter Pentastar.

The Ram is enjoying 20 percent stronger sales until October compared to last year. The spur is no doubt partially driven by a new optional powertrain that mates the Pentastar V6 with an eight-speed automatic to deliver EPA numbers of 18/25MPG in the city/highway cycles.