Chrysler cut a production shift at its Dundee Engine plant on the line that manufactures 1.4-liter engines.
The automaker’s spokesman said that 14 probationary employees were let go and 44 workers were reassigned to other engine production at the facility. The Dundee plant manufactures the 1.4-liter engine, as well as 2.0- and 2.4-liter I-4 engines for several Chrysler models. The 1.4-liter engine is used for the Fiat 500 and several models of the Dodge Dart.
Although the Dart uses the 2.0-liter Tigershark engine as its standard powerplant, customers willing to pay $1,000 more can have the 1.4-liter turbocharged engine which also offers 160 hp as the 2.00-liter engine, but adds 36 pounds-feet of torque, to 184 pounds-feet. According to the Automotive News Data Center, Dart sales have increased during its first seven months since it was introduced, but inventories remained at a 141–day supply since January 1st.
Tom Zimmerman, plant unit chairman for United Auto Workers Local 723, said that production of the 2.0-liter and 2.4-liter engines is brisk, with workers on two shifts, and expressed his surprise that the company chose to reduce production of the other engine. Chrysler announced it plans to introduce this spring a new Dart GT model fitted with a 2.4-liter naturally aspirated I-4 engine at a lower price.