Kenosha Engine was a automobile and engine factory in Kenosha, Wisconsin. First opened for automobile production in 1902 by the Thomas B. Jeffery Company and later by operated by American Motors, the Kenosha Engine Plant saw all operations halted by Chrysler and it was permanently closed in October 2010.
The factory opened in 1902 by the Thomas B. Jeffery Company that developed into Nash Motors, and was ultimately acquired by Chrysler with their purchase of American Motors Corporation (AMC) in August 1987.
On May 1, 2009, Chrysler announced that the Kenosha Engine plant was to close by the end of 2010 as a result of Chrysler's bankruptcy and restructuring plan.
The opening of the 3.5-liter engine line, in 2002, came after the company invested $624 million in a 450,000-square-foot (42,000 m2) expansion of the plant.
In 2006, the Kenosha Engine factory employed 1,300 people. As of May 2009, approximately 800 workers were employed at this facility.
Kenosha Engine is one of Chrysler Group Powertrain plants that scored at the top of their segment according to the 2007 Harbour Report North America report, a broadly accepted measure of productivity in the automotive industry.
Significantly, Chrysler excluded employees of the Kenosha plant from its February 2, 2009 buyout offer for hourly workers. In response to news about closing the Kenosha Engine plant, hundreds of auto workers held a rally in May 2009, and appealed to Obama administration officials, as well as to the executives at both Fiat and Chrysler to reverse the decision to shut down the facility. After Chrysler assets were transferred to a new corporation operated by Fiat as part of emerging from Chapter 11 bankruptcy on June 10, 2009, the Kenosha Engine plant was restarted.
However, by August 2010, Chrysler announced closing the facility and its remaining 575 jobs. Effectively ending 108 years of automaking in Kenosha, the last engine was produced on October 22, 2010. At that time, the future of engine plant site in the center of the city remains unknown, and Kenosha city officials were worried. The Old Carco Liquidation Trust, the owner of assets formerly held by Chrysler LLC, unsuccessfully tried to market the site to other industrial users. By October 2011, an agreement was reached to transfer ownership of the property to either to the city or the state, with $10 million in federal Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) money will be available to help clean up environmental problems at the site. An auction was held in December 2011, for the machines and equipment in the Kenosha Engine plant under order of the United States Bankruptcy Court. It took three days to sell tools such as drill bits to machine tools bigger than trucks inside the plant.
Demolition of the plant complex began in late 2012. In February 2014, Old Carco Liquidation Trust abandoned the former Kenosha Engine Plant, and the city of Kenosha accepted title to the property. The city of Kenosha, Wisconsin Department of Health Services, United States Environmental Protection Agency, and Kenosha County Division of Health collaborated on the environmental assessment, remediation, and prepare the property for redevelopment.
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