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Kenosha Engine


Kenosha Engine

Kenosha Engine
Built 1902
Location Kenosha, Wisconsin
Industry Automotive
  • 1,870,000 sq ft (174,000 m2) buildings
  • 107 acres (43.3 ha) land
  • 5555 30th Avenue
  • Kenosha, Wisconsin, USA
Defunct October 2010

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.[1]


Kenosha Engine is located in Wisconsin
Kenosha Engine plant location in Wisconsin

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.

The last year when the plant would produce cars was 1988, with the subcompact Dodge Omni and Plymouth Horizon models, but the facility continued to manufacture engines.[2]

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.[3]

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.[4]

In 2006, the Kenosha Engine factory employed 1,300 people.[4] 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.[5]

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.[6] 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.[7]

However, by August 2010, Chrysler announced closing the facility and its remaining 575 jobs.[8] 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.[2] The Old Carco Liquidation Trust, the owner of assets formerly held by Chrysler LLC, unsuccessfully tried to market the site to other industrial users.[9] 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.[10] 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.[11] It took three days to sell tools such as drill bits to machine tools bigger than trucks inside the plant.[12][13]

Demolition of the plant complex began in late 2012.[14] In February 2014, Old Carco Liquidation Trust abandoned the former Kenosha Engine Plant, and the city of Kenosha accepted title to the property.[1] 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.[15]



  • "Kenosha Engine Plant - official site". daimlerchrysler. July 2007. Archived from the original on 6 June 2008. Retrieved 9 May 2012. 
  1. ^ a b "Kenosha Engine Plant Investigation & Cleanup (RR-894)" (PDF). Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. October 2014. Retrieved 19 October 2014. 
  2. ^ a b Taschler, Joe; Barrett, Rick (22 October 2010). "End of the line for Chrysler engine plant in Kenosha". Journal Sentinel. Retrieved 19 October 2014. 
  3. ^ Content, Thomas (1 May 2009). "Chrysler won't keep Kenosha engine plant". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved 19 October 2014. 
  4. ^ a b Content, Thomas (10 April 2006). "Kenosha Chrysler plant eases closer to new production line". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Archived from the original on 13 May 2007. Retrieved 19 October 2014. 
  5. ^ "Chrysler Group Maintains Greatest Productivity Improvement Over Six Years, According to Harbour Report" (Press release). 31 May 2007. Retrieved 19 October 2014. 
  6. ^ Content, Thomas (4 May 2009). "Auto workers rally to save Kenosha plant". Journal Sentinel. Retrieved 19 October 2014. 
  7. ^ "Chrysler to restart Kenosha engine plant". The Business Journal. 18 June 2009. Retrieved 19 October 2014. 
  8. ^ Conley, Chris (7 August 2010). "Chrysler to close Kenosha engine plant". WASU talk news. Retrieved 19 October 2014. 
  9. ^ Gentner, Margie (1 November 2011). "Possible uses for the old Kenosha Engine Plant site". KenoWi and 2Hill Media. Retrieved 19 October 2014. 
  10. ^ Barrett, Rick (19 October 2011). "Deal reached for Kenosha Chrysler plant site". Journal Sentinel. Retrieved 19 October 2014. 
  11. ^ "Hilco and Maynards: Chrysler Kenosha Engine Plant Onsite Auction with Webcast" (PDF). Hilco Industrial. 2011. Retrieved 19 October 2014. 
  12. ^ Olson, Jon (8 December 2011). "Buyers bid on Chrysler Engine Plant tools and equipment". Kenosha News. Retrieved 9 May 2012. 
  13. ^ "Chrysler Kenosha Engine Plant - Photographs from 12/2011 before the public auction to liquidate assets". 21 December 2012. Retrieved 19 October 2014. 
  14. ^ "Chrysler Engine Plant significant demolition begins". Kenosha News. 8 December 2012. Retrieved 19 October 2014. 
  15. ^ "Kenosha Engine Plant investigation & cleanup". Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. 18 September 2014. Retrieved 19 October 2014. 

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