Chrysler and Fiat SpA Chief Executive Officer Sergio Marchionne said the Sterling Heights, Michigan, car assembly plant will be shut for 30 days to prepare it for production of the new version of the midsize sedan Chrysler 200.
Marchionne said the new model, which is key to Chrysler’s return as a viable competitor in the big U.S. midsize sedan market, will begin selling near the end of the first quarter. He added that Ram pickup truck production capacity can be increased by 15 to 20 % without building a new plant. He said there are no plans to build another Ram truck plant in the United States or Mexico.
Marchionne made his comments during a conference call with industry analysts on full-year 2013 and fourth-quarter financial results. Also Fiat and Chrysler announced that the merged company will be called Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.
The group expects capital expenditure for this year at around 8 billion euros ($10.93 billion), according to its chief financial officer. “We are looking at capex for full year 2014 of around 8 billion euros, about half a billion higher than we had in 2013,” Richard Palmer, CFO of both Fiat and Chrysler, told analysts during a presentation following the release of fourth-quarter earnings.