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NEVER Say Never

New manufacturing plant a consideration

Andy Bolig - February 10, 2014 11:13 AM

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Sources say his preference is still to run existing pickup plants in Warren, Mich., and Saltillo, Mexico, "flat-out."

Strong demand for Ram pickups has Chrysler Group considering building an auto plant in North America.

CEO Sergio Marchionne said he and other Fiat Chrysler executives were debating whether to build a third pickup plant to meet the demand for Ram pickups. This goes against an earlier statement by Marchionne, who once vowed during the recession to never build another assembly plant in North America. Sources say his preference is still to run existing pickup plants in Warren, Mich., and Saltillo, Mexico, "flat-out."

He said he believes Chrysler could increase pickup production by 15 or 20 percent without requiring an additional plant. He placed the odds of building a new plant "under 50 percent."

Sales of Ram pickups, which were re-engineered for the 2013 model year and are Chrysler's best-selling vehicles, were up 21 percent in 2013 to 355,673. By comparison, sales of all full-sized pickups in the United States rose 17 percent last year.

 

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