The information was revealed by UAW officials who told employees that Chrysler would be building a new axle plant in 2010 at a site in Marysville, Michigan. According to Automotive News, the plant is already under construction and costing close to $700 million all up.
A spokesman for ZF said that his company was in talks with Chrysler to operate the new plant but that no agreement had been made yet. Chrysler spokesman Dave Elshoff also confirmed that talks were taking place but wouldn’t comment further.
The plant is set to build a new axle using technology borrowed from Mercedes-Benz. The new design is said to generate less internal friction and thus improve fuel economy. Extra axles and differentials manufactured at the plant will even be supplied to Mercedes’ Alabama plant as well as exported overseas.
ZF isn't the only OEM supplier Chrysler has partnered with in the past. The carmaker is also tied with gearbox specialist Getrag to build a new plant in Indiana that is expected to be completed next year. The plant is for the supply of a six-speed dual clutch gearbox that is designed for Chrysler’s next-generation Phoenix V6 engine due in 2010.