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Chrysler will restart seven plants

Chrysler Group LLC plans to restart seven assembly plants at the end of June after silencing all of its factories during its six-week stay in Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

The company on Wednesday confirmed that factories in Sterling Heights and Warren, Mich.; St. Louis; Toledo, Ohio; Brampton and Windsor, Ontario; and Toluca, Mexico, would restart operations June 29. A plant in Detroit that makes the Dodge Viper sports car restarted Monday.

In addition, parts stamping, engine and transmission factories that feed those plants also will restart June 29, Chrysler said in a statement.

The company had shut down all of its manufacturing operations May 4, shortly after filing for bankruptcy protection April 30. But inventories of vehicles made by the eight plants have started to shrink, said spokeswoman Dianna Gutierrez.

The eight assembly plants that are restarting employ about 15,000 workers, according to Chrysler's Web site.

Restart of the rest of the company's factories will be announced later, the statement said, probably after the normal two-week summer break in which all factories will be closed the weeks of July 13 and 20.

When the factories come back on line, their work will be done under a different manufacturing system, one used in Europe by Fiat Group SpA called "World Class Manufacturing."

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