PERRYSBURG – A recreated Chrysler car company, emerging from a recent bankruptcy filing, plans to resume
production at Perrysburg Township’s manufacturing plant.
As a result of Chrysler’s April bankruptcy filing, many assets under the company’s old name are now being
sold to a new controlling entity.
In Perrysburg Township, the new Chrysler Group LLC – also known as New Carco Acquisition LLC – purchased
the Chrysler Toledo Machining Plant, located 8000 Chrysler Dr., on June 11 from the car manufacturer’s
outgoing entity, Chrysler LLC, which is now being managed by the bankruptcy court. The township facility
was sold to the new entity for $32 million as part of the company’s restructuring plans, involving
similar purchases of former assets across the country.
Only eight of the American plants, including one in Twinsburg, are expected to close before they are sold
off during bankruptcy proceedings, according to Chrysler.
Max Gates, communications manager in Chrysler’s Michigan corporate office, said the Perrysburg plant will
be among the majority of plants scheduled to continue operations since all production stopped when
Chrysler, now allied with Fiat Group, filed for bankruptcy on April 30.
The company announced Wednesday afternoon on its Web site that it would resume volume production of
vehicles by starting operations at seven North American plants the week of June 29. The phased plan to
reintroduce production includes the Toledo Supplier Park, in Toledo, and the Sterling Heights Assembly
Plant in Michigan. Chrysler Group’s powertrain and stamping facilities that supply those assembly plants
will also start operations again.
Rich DeVore – shop chairman of UAW 1435, which includes workers at the Perrysburg facility – said this
morning that the township’s plant will start operations next week in a limited capacity and confirmed it
will be among those going online in full capacity on June 29. It will take a week or two for the plant
to complete maintenance on equipment that has sat idle since the bankruptcy filing. The furnaces alone
take about a week to reach operation temperature.
"Basically what we’re going to do is do some platform-sharing with Fiat," specifically the
Italian company’s small car platform technologies, he said.
To prepare, the plant’s roughly 600 production workers have been training on World Class Manufacturing
tools. He said the plant hopes to be involved in the production of Fiat’s powertrain technologies. The
Perrysburg Machining Plant traditionally has produced steering columns and torque converters for
About 240 people have taken buyout packages at the plant since November.
The plant purchase itself will not result in a change in day-to-day operations in Perrysburg Township,
Gates said. Whether there will be changes in the workforce at specific plant sites is unknown at this
point, however. But, in general, "adjustments" are occurring across the industry as a whole.
"Change is going to be pretty common in the new company, as it will be throughout the automotive
industry," he said.
Chrysler was back in businesses as of June 10, Gates said. The company’s next step will involve more
organization and planning.
"And soon the next big step will be to resume production of our vehicles," he said.
In the past, the Perrysburg Township machining plant has produced steering columns and torque converters
The sale of the local machining plant is great news to Tom Blaha, executive director of the Wood Economic
"We see that as an indication that the building in Wood County is going to continue to be used for
auto employment – and that’s a good thing," Blaha said.
Not only will it keep local residents employed, but the property sale will also inadvertently help the
county’s economic development office. The office is primarily supported through a conveyance fee charged
for all real estate transactions in the county.
"That’s where the majority of our funding comes from," Blaha said.
The conveyance fee is $1 for every $1,000 in real estate sales, and must be paid by the buyer. In this
case, that means the economic development office will take in $32,000 from this one sale.
That is more good news for Blaha, whose office has recently seen a great drop in revenue from real estate
"Those returns have been extremely low in the last few months," he said.