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Chrysler Opens New Brazil Plant

July 7, 1998

SAO PAULO, Brazil (AP) _ Chrysler Corp. on Tuesday inaugurated its new $315 million pickup truck plant in the southern Brazilian state of Parana.

The new factory, near the state capital of Curitiba, will produce about 12,000 Dodge Dakotas per year, with 5,000 expected by the end of 1998. The annual output could eventually be expanded to 40,000.

It is Chrysler’s third plant in South America, where it also operates in Argentina and Venezuela, and the first one to make Dodge Dakotas outside the United States.

Besides Brazil, the new plant’s output will also be sold in other South American countries, mainly Argentina and Chile. Because it is the only Chrysler plant producing a diesel version of the Dodge Dakota, Asia and Europe could also become future markets.

Chrysler is also building, together with Germany’s BMW, a $500 million engine plant in the Brazilian town of Campo Largo.

Roughly half of the engines will be shipped to England, where they will be used by BMW’s Rover group. The other half will be go to the United States, where they will be used in Chrysler’s small cars.

The plant is expected to begin production in 2000 with an annual capacity of 400,000 units.

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