Chrysler hires Illinois firm to sell Kenosha plant

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Firm hopes to sell the facility as turn-key manufacturing solution

Hilco Real Estate LLC, a Northbrook, Ill.-based firm that specializes in the sale of manufacturing-related real estate, equipment and inventory, has been retained to sell Chrysler assembly plants in Kenosha and Detroit.

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Chrysler plans to permanently close the Kenosha plant in December.

Hilco hopes to sell the Kenosha facility to a manufacturer who will use it to build automotive engines, said Richard Kaye, executive vice president with the company.

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“Our mission is to sell the Kenosha and Detroit facilities as turnkey operations,” he said. “Whether they are purchased by some entity in the automotive industry or an OEM (original equipment manufacturer) or a tier supplier, our first objective is to sell them as is, in their entirety to someone who will continue manufacturing there.”

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Chrysler went through bankruptcy last year. The two manufacturing plants that Hilco has been asked to sell are now owned by an entity named Old Carco LLC, which has retained some of the assets held by Chrysler that Fiat, its new owner, did not acquire.

Hilco has been asked to sell all of the assets of both the 1.8 million square foot Kenosha engine plant and the 1.2 million square foot Detroit axle facility – including machinery, equipment and intellectual property. The Kenosha plant assembles Chrysler’s 3.5-liter 2.7-liter V-6 engines used in the Chrysler 300, Sebring, Dodge Avenger and Dodge Charger models.

“Based in the nature of the equipment, it would make sense for the buyer to be a manufacturer of engines,” Kaye said.

However, if Hilco is unable to find a buyer that wants to acquire the real estate, machinery and intellectual property, the firm will likely end up selling those components separately, Kaye said. At present, the firm has not been given a deadline by which Old Carco LLC wants to have the assets sold by.

“This will be an international marketing process, not just in North America,” Kaye said.


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