By Jeff Gilbert

STERLING HEIGHTS, MI — (WWJ) A Chrysler plant that was once on the closing list, is being transformed into a state of the art facility.

The company showed off the paint shop at its Sterling Heights Assembly Plant, part of $850 million dollars worth of upgrades to Chrysler facilities in Macomb Country.

Video: WWJ AutoBeat Reporter Jeff Gilbert Tours Chrysler’s New Paint Shop

The new paint shop is 85 percent finished. It will start operations in the first quarter of next year, with Chrysler’s next generation of mid-size cars. The as yet unshown, and un-named vehicles will replace the current Dodge Avenger and Chrysler 200 now being built at the Sterling Heights plant.

The paint shop has been under development for more than a decade. However, Chrysler ran out of money prior to bankruptcy and cancelled the project. Then Sterling Heights was put into “Old Car Co” the company made up of assetts Chrysler planned to dispose of.

However mid-size car sales picked up, Chrysler decided to keep the Sterling Heights plant, and two years ago started work on the new paint shop.

The shop has 112 robots, which do the painting. Workers control the automation systems that run the robots. It has the flexibility to paint any product in the Chrysler lineup, except for the larger trucks.

Chrysler has been expected to add new products to the Sterling Heights plant, but nothing has been annoucned beyond the next generation of mid size cars.

Connect with Jeff Gilbert
Twitter: @jefferygilbert

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