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BMW, Chrysler Break Ground for Joint Tritec Engine Plant

14 April 1998

BMW, Chrysler Break Ground for Tritec Joint Venture Engine Plant in Brazil

    CURITIBA, Brazil, April 14 -- BMW AG and Chrysler Corporation
today broke ground for their new joint venture engine facility in
Brazil.  The two automakers' $500 million joint venture company, named Tritec
Motors Ltda., will produce 1.4- and 1.6-liter displacement engines at the new
facility for export to global markets.
    "Breaking ground is just the first step in making this important project
for BMW and Chrysler a reality," said James Bonini, Tritec's Director of
Technical Operations.  "In addition to building the physical plant, we'll
spend the next two years hiring and training the people for this highly
technical operation, installing and verifying machinery and building and
testing pilot engines."
    The new plant, which will have the capacity to produce up to 400,000
engines per year, will occupy a 40,000 square meter (430,556 square feet) site
near the town of Campo Largo, in the state of Parana in southern Brazil.  The
building should be completed in early 1999, with machinery and equipment moved
in throughout 1999 and the first six months of 2000.  The first engines
will be produced in the second half of 2000, beginning with the 1.6-liter
version.  Final staffing requirements have to be made, but the plant is
expected to employ between 500 to 1,000 people when it reaches full
    The new Tritec 1.4- and 1.6-liter gasoline engines will be highly fuel
efficient and produce very low emissions in accordance with European and
other strict emissions standards.  Initial product plans for the 1.6-liter
engine include the next generation of Chrysler's Neon sedans for international
markets and the New Mini to be built in Great Britain by the Rover Group, a
subsidiary of BMW.
    "This is a further step towards the internationalization of the BMW
Group," said Eberhard Schrempf, Director of Commercial Operations for Tritec.
"Like the BMW factory in Spartanburg, South Carolina (USA), our assembly
operations in South Africa and other countries, this engine plant is an
important element in our long-range worldwide production plans.  We're pleased
to have a competent company like Chrysler as our partner."
    Both BMW and Chrysler are expanding their operations in Brazil.  Chrysler
launched import sales in Brazil in 1996 and will start production of the Dodge
Dakota pick-up truck at its new plant, also located in Campo Largo, this July.
Last year it sold 10,217 vehicles in Brazil and expects to sell 18,000 units
in 1998.
    BMW do Brasil Ltda., a subsidiary of BMW AG in Munich, launched import
sales in October 1995.  Last year the company, consisting of BMW cars,
motorcycles and Land Rover vehicles, sold 4,420 units in Brazil and expects to
sell 5,500 units in 1998.  A further milestone in its activities will be the
opening of a new Land Rover assembly plant this October in Sao Bernardo do
Campo, Sao Paulo state.

SOURCE  General Motors Corporation