DaimlerChrysler has started full production of three different diesel engines for the new Smart Fortwo and Mitsubishi Colt.

The engines are being produced at DaimlerChrysler’s plant in Kölleda, Thuringen. According to Automobilwoche, the start of production of these engines should help improve capacity utilisation at the plant that opened in 2003. In April the plant will start operating on two shifts and, in 2008, another new diesel engine will be added to production.

DaimlerChrysler employs 260 at the plant and a further 90 work for service companies.
The new engines include a 45hp (33kW) diesel engine for the Smart, with fuel consumption of 3.3 litres per 100km, and CO2 emissions of 88grams per 100km. It will also produce 68hp and 95hp diesel engines.

Until now, Kölleda has produced three and four cylinder petrol engines for Mitsubishi.
The plant was originally set up as a 50:50 joint venture between DaimlerChrysler and Mitsubishi but DC took full control in mid-2006. Since it opened the plant has suffered from being under-utilised and workers have been shuffled around other plants at different times.