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GEMA Starts Second Michigan Engine Plant

Oct. 18, 2006
Four-cylinder aluminum blocks to power various Chrysler models

October 18, 2006 -- Chrysler Group executives have marked the start of production at the second Global Engine Manufacturing Alliance plant in Dundee, MI. The first plant there opened one year ago, and together the two operations cover 1.2 million ft2. They will be joined by GEMA plants in Asan and Hwasung, South Korea, and Shiga, Japan.

GEMA was initiated in 2001 by DaimlerChrysler, Hyundai Motor Co, and Mitsubishi Motor Corp. to produce 1.8-liter, 2.0-liter, and 2.4-liter engines, and when all are in operation the group claims it will be the largest engine-manufacturing operation in the world.

"At the Global Engine Manufacturing Alliance, we've put the manufacturing processes in place to build four-cylinder engines that deliver exceptional performance, fuel efficiency, reliability and refinement," stated Chrysler Group executive vice resident - Manufacturing Frank Ewasyshyn. "It's no secret: the World Engine is the right product at the right time."

The GEMA engines' designs are based on a high-pressure diecast aluminum block and forged steel crankshaft, with variable valve timing; select-fit pistons, tappets, and bearings; isolated valve covers; damped oil pans; and a balance shaft module with integrated oil pump. The alliance claims it will achieve savings in design, purchasing, and manufacturing costs in order to improve engine technology.

The design was co-developed by DaimlerChrysler, Hyundai, and Mitsubishi. Hyundai had the lead design responsibility for the base engine, while Chrysler and Mitsubishi made significant engineering contributions to the design. All three companies were involved in durability testing for the engine, equivalent to more than 16 million customer miles. Further, the partners shared experiences and best practices to refine the engine's quality and durability. Among the technologies credited to Chrysler are the intake manifold control valves and Dual Variable Valve Timing (VVT).

"Our expertise and value to the customer is in the designing, high- precision machining and assembling of engine blocks, cranks and heads," states GEMA president Bruce Coventry. "This project will allow DaimlerChrysler to realize annual savings of $100 million and attain a leading position in the market for the world's best four-cylinder engines. The Global Engine Manufacturing Alliance enables us to fully benefit from our strategic partnerships and achieve maximum economies of scale."