Chrysler’s Mack Avenue facility in Detroit may live to see the light of another day. In a recent move to sell more vehicles Italian auto maker Maserati will be relocating the installation of interior, engine, and trim of its new SUV to the facility. One of the Mack Avenue facilities was suppose to close its doors forever when the old 3.7-liter V-6 engine that was once a Jeep staple was phased out.
However, the decision to move Maserati’s new SUV assembly to Mack Avenue is not yet official. The holdup stems from a new tentative labor agreement between the United Auto Workers and Chrysler that hasn’t been ratified yet. The deal has to receive approval from about 28,000 Chrysler workers covered under the deal before further movements can be made.
The development in the Maserati Kubang SUV sits at its latest road block even after Fiat and Chrysler boss Sergio Marchionne said it would be built at the Jefferson North facility. Late last week workers at the local UAW 51 in Detroit also received word that the body of the SUV would be pieced together at Jefferson North according to the Detroit Free Press. Only 1.6 miles separate each facility and keeping the doors open on at Mack Avenue enables another 450 jobs to be created. It would also allow 150 workers to retain their current positions at the facility if the deal is ratified.
Maserati’s Kubang SUV concept borrows much of its engineering from Jeep’s Grand Cherokee, and was unveiled last month at the Frankfurt Motor Show. The luxury SUV will be a first for the Modena based auto maker and can further along the merger between Fiat and Chrysler. Fiat is expected to acquire 58.5 percent of Chrysler by the end of 2011, up five percent from its current share of 53.5 percent. This acquisition also requires Fiat to fulfill certain stipulations like developing a car that will achieve 40 mpg or better. If Fiat can do so it will have earned the right to acquire another three percent on top of what it already has, raising principal ownership to a whopping 61 percent.
Do you think Maserati’s move to Detroit is good for all parties involved? Or is it too close to the Chrysler TC by Maserati debacle of the ’80s? Tell us what you think in the comment section below.
Source: Detroit Free Press