Chrysler Group breaks ground for its new Marysville Axle Plant in Marysville, MI.

The $700 million plant is part of a $3 billion “Powertrain Offensive” investment the auto maker announced in February.

Construction will begin this summer and the facility will employ 900 people when it reaches full volume in 2010 of 1.2 million axles annually, Chrysler says. The Marysville operation will replace Chrysler’s Detroit Axle Plant that dates back to 1917 and employs more than 1,600 workers.

The $700 million outlay includes engineering and development costs associated with the axles that will be produced at the new facility.

The Marysville program represents a portion of the $1.78 billion that will be invested in Michigan operations as part of the $3 billion powertrain strategy. That includes a plan to produce a new 6-cyl. engine, dubbed Phoenix, at Chrysler’s Trenton, MI, plant.