It looks like Chrysler has new partners for an all-new 4 cyl engine. Will they still produce the Tri-tec engine once Mini swithes over to the Prince engine or is this new joint venture creating an new engine that will replace the Tri-tec for Chrysler???
Chrysler says new, jointly-developed four-cylinder engines will bring big savings
MARY CONNELLY | Automotive News
Posted Date: 12/28/04
DETROIT -- The Chrysler group expects to save about $100 million annually when it begins building a new generation of four-cylinder engines with two Asian partners in September.
The savings are in comparison to what Chrysler spends for current four-cylinder engines.
The new line of engines was developed jointly by DaimlerChrysler AG, Hyundai Motor Co. and Mitsubishi Motors Corp. in their Global Engine Manufacturing Alliance. The alliance is building two plants in Dundee, Mich. The plants will produce about 840,000 four-cylinder engines annually, supplying 12 Chrysler model lines worldwide, Chrysler said last week.
About 30 percent of Chrysler vehicles are equipped with four-cylinder powertrains.
The alliance also will operate three Asian plants.
Mitsubishi will delay taking any allocation from the Dundee plants because a cash squeeze is putting its product plans in flux, says Bruce Coventry, president of the alliance.
Despite its financial problems, Mitsubishi is not reducing its investment in the engine venture, he says.
Chrysler expects to take more of the Dundee-produced engines than originally planned as its sales rise, he says.
Hyundai is not a customer of the Dundee plants, Coventry says.
U.S., Asia plants
The alliance expects to build 2 million engines annually worldwide. It will supply 20 model lines at the three companies.
The two other plants are in Asan and Hwasung, South Korea, and Shiga, Japan.
Operating contracts continue through 2012, Coventry says.
Anticipated savings will be derived from purchasing economies and design and manufacturing efficiencies, Chrysler says.
A 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine generating 170 hp will represent about two-thirds of Chrysler's Dundee production, the company said. The automaker also will use 1.8-liter and 2.0-liter variants. Turbocharged and supercharged versions are possible.
For example, the engines will be used in replacements for the Dodge Neon and Stratus and Chrysler Sebring.
Chrysler is touting the new engine's variable valve timing as a premium feature not now available in entry-level vehicles.
Mercedes-Benz, which offers the technology, participated in many technical discussions, Coventry says.
The technology helps provide high-end power while retaining low-end torque, Chrysler says.
Better fuel economy
The automaker says fuel economy is expected to improve 5 percent compared to Chrysler's current four-cylinder engine line.
Construction of the Dundee plants is ahead of schedule, Chrysler says. The first plant is building prototypes. The second plant is under construction and will begin operating in September 2006, a year after the first. Chrysler plans to continue operating its Trenton, Mich., and Saltillo, Mexico, plants, which build the company's current four-cylinder engines, says Eric Ridenour, Chrysler executive vice president of product development. He would not say what the plants will build.