Chrysler LLC will invest $1.8 billion to retool and expand its Jefferson North Assembly Plant in Detroit, Michigan, to prepare for it for new vehicle production. "This investment in our future products and at Jefferson North will enable the company to produce a future generation of vehicles more efficiently, with world-class quality and an improved environmental footprint," says Tom LaSorda, Chrysler LLC's vice chair and president. "Furthermore, this commitment reinforces the long-standing partnership between Chrysler LLC, the city of Detroit, and the state of Michigan." The company plans to use the investment for product development - including a new fuel-efficient SUV model - and state-of-the-art manufacturing systems at the plant, including energy efficient lighting, improved air filtration, and decanting technology, which uses paint sludge as an energy source. A 285,000-square-foot expansion is also planned to replace the existing body shop. "We believe the Jefferson North makeover will give the facility and our company the upper hand on how responsive we can be to shifts in consumers' needs and changing market demands," says Frank Ewasyshyn, the company's executive vice president of manufacturing. The plant currently produces the company's Jeep Grand Cherokee SUV.
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