Chrysler to reopen Conner Avenue plant, new Viper to come in 2012 image

Chrysler Group LLC, on Tuesday said it plans to reopen its Conner Avenue Assembly Plant in Detroit for the production of the next generation SRT Viper.

“The next generation Viper will make its return to the product lineup in late 2012 as a 2013 model,” said Ralph Gilles, President and Chief Executive Officer of the SRT Brand and Motorsports, Chrysler Group LLC.

The decision is expected to create about 150 jobs, both hourly and salaried, giving the city of Detroit a much needed boost.

Current Chrysler Group hourly employees who previously worked at Conner were first offered the opportunity to return to their home plant. The balance of the positions will be filled by hourly employees volunteering to transfer to the Conner Avenue plant.

In preparation for the reopening, the Conner facility will begin its transformation by implementing World Class Manufacturing (WCM), a system that is focused on reducing waste and making continuous improvements throughout the assembly process to improve quality and productivity.

The factory opened in 1966 and was purchased by Chrysler in 1995 for the Dodge Viper and Plymouth Prowler. Viper production moved from New Mack Assembly in October 1995 and Prowler production started in May 1997. The Viper’s V10 engine was originally built at Mound Road Engine but moved to Conner Avenue in May 2001.