Chryslers Ground Breaking Ceremony

by : Evander Klum

The City of Marysville has recently given Chrysler AG a warm welcome headed by Marysville Mayor Gary Orr to show its appreciation for Chrysler AG's decision in choosing the city as the site for the $700 million axle plant. The ground-breaking ceremony was headed by Chrysler's executives and was witnessed by the honorable Mayor of Marysville and by the officials of the United Auto Workers.

The construction of the new plant will start on the 750,000-square-footplant this summer. The company also plans to makes its first axles ready for the 2010 production year so this means that the new plant has to be finished before the end of 2009.

The new axle plant will employ some 1,150 workers and has been on a fast track since two month ago when the Chrysler officials have told representatives from the Economic Development Alliance of St. Clair County that the St. Clair Township site was perfect for what they wanted. The site chosen by Chrysler has rail line, a natural tree border that separates it from the rest of its neighbors plus its great advantage is the fact that it is near a major highway.

Fred Hoffman, Director of State Relations fro Chrysler said, "I think you'll see, certainly by later this year, huge evidence of activity."

It won't be long before Chrysler AG the producer of best quality finally separates from Daimler and become Chrysler Holdings LLC that is of course after the 80.1 percent deal is concluded. The new owner of Chrysler AG is a private equity firm, the Cerberus Capital Management LP, which has bought 80.1 percent of Chrysler AG for $7.4 million.

Anyway going back to the new axle plant, some of the axles that are to be produced at the said plant are to be sold to Mercedes-Benz to enhance its fuel efficiency. According to Frank Ewasyshyn, Chrysler's Executive Vice-President of Manufacturing, the axles will reduce friction and heat while sending power to the wheels.Furthermore, although Chrysler will be selling axles to Mercedes-Benz but still it wants to keep them in-house since it wants to maintain its technology exclusive.

Hoffman has also said that the company will take bids from both local and state companies for the construction of the plant. He further added that the work is likely to be done by a unionized work force. He urges the local firms to contact the Economic Development Alliance of St. Clair County if ever they are interested in submitting a bid on the plant. For the meantime the city of Marysville together with the Economic Development Alliance of St. Clair County have yet to finalize the sale of the land with its owner Jim Stephenson.

The company is also in the process of obtaining state permits such as those from the State Department of Environmental Quality which is needed since the site includes wetlands explained Hoffman.

Sandra Kilby, St. Clair's Township Supervisor told the crowd at the ground-breaking ceremony that she hopes the plant won't change the character of the township. She said, "I hope we can all continue ... preserving the rural community where this plant exists while sharing in the prosperity that it brings."