Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne has said that there are ‘no plans’ on his desk that would suggest that Chrysler’s decision to shut its Sterling Heights plant is going to be reversed.
There has been speculation that Fiat will revamp the mid-sized Chrysler Sebring and Dodge Avenger sedans, reversing an earlier plan that would have scrapped those models at the end of 2010. That reversal would also reprieve the Sterling Heights plant – earmarked for closure – which has seen rallies by workers to protect the 1,200 jobs there.
Marchionne said that the closure decision was part of a production plan that excluded Sterling Heights from continuing operations, at Chrysler going forward and the decision was taken when Chrysler filed for Chapter 11.
“That view has not changed,” he said.
“I’ve read the speculation in the press, I’ve seen some people get incredibly excited about the fact that we’re about ready to change our mind. I can tell you right now I have no plans on my desk that would suggest that the decision is going to be reversed. I think that we need to look at a variety of factors before commitments like this are made.
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“It was part of a very thorough understanding of a manufacturing footprint that Chrysler had, so I don’t want anybody to start building up unfulfilled expectations, I think we need to be careful and I think we need to walk before we start running here. I don’t know if I can be any clearer.”
But he appeared not to completely rule out a change, highlighting the importance of contact with the UAW.
“If there is anything that needs to be done in connection with that plant, it certainly needs to be discussed first and foremost with the national leadership of the UAW. I understand the local interest in this issue, but I think we have a number of exchanges and commitments made with Ron Gettlefinger of the UAW and I think that he is the first and foremost interface in the process.”