Global Engine Mfg. Alliance (GEMA) launches production at the second of its two co-located plants in Dundee, MI.

The two plants have a maximum annual capacity of 840,000 units, but plans call for a combined output of 620,000.

A joint venture involving Chrysler Group, Mitsubishi Motors Corp. and Hyundai Motor Co. Ltd., GEMA also has two plants in South Korea and another in Japan. The combined maximum capacity of all five sites is 1.8 million units.

The first Dundee plant, which launched production last October, is dedicated to Chrysler programs. Mitsubishi is expected to begin sourcing engines from the second plant in 2008.

“This project will allow (Chrysler) to realize annual savings of $100 million and attain a leading position in the market for (4-cyl. engines),” GEMA President Bruce Coventry says in a statement. “The Global Engine Manufacturing Alliance enables us to fully benefit from our strategic partnerships and achieve maximum economies of scale.”

The Dundee site builds Chrysler’s 4-cyl. World Engine featured, so far, in three all-new ’07 products: the Dodge Caliber, Jeep Compass and Chrysler Sebring. Its 2.4L variant also will be featured in the Jeep Patriot, which will make its North American showroom debut early next year.

The World Engine also comes in 1.8L and 2.0L variants.

The Dundee plants, when fully operational, are expected to employ more than 500 hourly and salaried personnel. Hiring will be ongoing for the next several months, the company says.