Chrysler may add third shift at Warren truck plant

Chrysler might add a third shift at its Warren Truck Plant to build the 2013 Ram 1500 pickup.

Reid Bigland, CEO of the Dodge brand and head of U.S. sales, said production of the upgraded Ram 1500 will begin in September.

“We are running the trap lines for a third shift at Warren Truck,” Bigland said today at a Chrysler event at the company’s Chelsea Proving Grounds.

Bigland said it takes about a year to plan for an additional shift at a plant. Before a final decision is made, Bigland said the company needs to be “sure the foreseeable demand is there…I think it is, and we are having discussions with our suppliers.”

Chrysler employs more than 2,300 at the plant, which opened in 1938. Typically, when manufacturers add a third shift at an assembly plant it creates 800 to 1,000 additional jobs.

Chrysler has been growing rapidly since it emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy in June 2009. The company has reported year-over-year sales increases in the U.S. for last 26 months.

Bigland said Chrysler is on track to report its 27th consecutive month of sales increases in June and its 31st consecutive month of increases in Canada for the month.

Bigland said he expects U.S. industry sales of about 14.2 million for the year. While industry sales slowed in May, they have remained steady in June, Bigland said, because of credit availability, falling gas prices, pent-up-demand for among consumers and an economy that continues to improve slowly.

Originally by Brent Snavely

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