Metaldyne and DaimlerChrysler have completed a deal to operate the Chrysler Group's New Castle (Indiana) machining and forge facility as a joint venture which will be known as NC-M Chassis Systems, LLC.

Metaldyne, which will oversee daily operations, will own 40% of the operation while Chrysler holds 60%.

"We have officially closed on the joint venture that was announced on December 9, 2002 for Metaldyne to operate the Chrysler Group's New Castle facility," said Metaldyne vice president of corporate development Thomas Amato.

"We are pleased to complete this transaction, and we look forward to working with the Chrysler Group and the UAW to position the New Castle facility as the recognised leader in the integration of chassis systems for our global automotive OEM and Tier One customers."

The New Castle Machining and Forge plant manufactures suspension and powertrain components for Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge vehicles, and employs approximately 1,300 people. The plant operates in a 1.1 million-square-foot facility, and will complete a 500,000 square-foot facility in 2003 where new components for Chrysler will be produced.