DETROIT (Reuters) - Chrysler Group LLC will open offices in downtown Detroit as part of its expansion in a city that has played a central role in the No. 3 U.S. automaker's marketing campaign since last year.
Chrysler will lease the top two floors of the 23-floor Dime Building, which will house 70 employees and an office for Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne. The offices will open sometime late this summer, the company said.
The building will be renamed the Chrysler House. This marks the first time in the company's history that Chrysler, based in Auburn Hills, Michigan, has a corporate office in Detroit.
The automaker, which is majority-owned by Italian automaker Fiat SpA, plans to move to Detroit its operations that manage relations with its dealerships in the Midwest.
The move is the latest by Chrysler to expand in Detroit, a city that is facing a financial crisis roughly three years after the U.S. automaker emerged from a federally funded bankruptcy under Fiat.
Chrysler will add a third shift at Jefferson North Assembly Plant, where it builds its Jeep Grand Cherokee sport utility vehicle, adding 1,100 new jobs. Chrysler will also open its Conner Avenue Assembly Plant in Detroit to make the SRT Viper and add 150 jobs.
The city has been the focus of Chrysler's marketing, such as its two Super Bowl advertisements. The city also inspired Chrysler's tagline "Imported from Detroit."
Chrysler's new offices will be close to No. 1 U.S. automaker General Motors Co's global headquarters. Chrysler's other domestic rival, Ford Motor Co, is based in Dearborn, Michigan.
(Reporting By Deepa Seetharaman; Editing by Phil Berlowitz)
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