DaimlerChrysler will end production at its Mound Road engine plant in Detroit on December 13 but there will be no layoffs, the Detroit News reported.

DC said last year it would close the plant as part of a broad restructuring that includes the shutdown of six plants and 26,000 job cuts before 2004, the newspaper added.

The Detroit News said that Chrysler would end production of 5.2-litre V8, 8-litre V10 and 3.9 litre V6 engines that were built at the Mound Road plant.

They will be replaced with similar engines made at Chrysler's new Mack I and Mack II plants in Detroit, the newspaper said.

The Detroit News said the Conner Avenue plant, which builds the Dodge Viper, would continue making V10 car engines.

The president of UAW Local [branch] 51, John Williams, told the Detroit News a third production shift would be added at the Mack II engine plant next spring.

The company would not confirm the move, however, the newspaper said.

The Detroit News said production has slowly been removed from Mound Road, which had 1,800 workers in 1996 but now employs 643.

The newspaper said that, in early October, Chrysler unveiled plans to spend $US35 million to add 1,000 workers by mid-2003 at its Dodge City Ram pickup truck factory in Warren with some of the new hires coming from the Mound Road plant.

“There shouldn't be any (workers) on layoff," Williams told the Detroit News. "Right now, we're just working to make sure the transition is smooth and everyone has a job."

Chrysler spokeswoman Michele Tinson told the Detroit News that the closing of the Mound Road plant would let the company save money by reducing production capacity.

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