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Doyle positive about Kenosha plant after Chrysler takeover

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It's too soon to know what an investment company's takeover of Chrysler will mean for the 850 auto workers in Kenosha.

But a spokesman for Jim Doyle said the governor heard positive indications Monday that Chrysler will go ahead with its new Phoenix engine and the Kenosha plant still has a great shot at building it.

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Doyle talked with a Chrysler executive Monday about plans by Cerebrus Capital Management to buy 80 percent of Chrysler for $7.4 billion. Daimler would keep 20 percent.

But the private equity firm would take over the part which makes both current employees and retirees nervous -- pensions and health costs. Workers fear higher costs and job cuts.

State Sen. Bob Wirch, D-Kenosha County, says Cerebrus may only be interested in a fast profit and while he hopes it doesn't happen, he's worried about the Kenosha plant's long-term future.

But John Antaramian, Kenosha mayor, says it's promising that union leaders have said they could work with the new owners.

Congressman Paul Ryan says it's encouraging that Tom LaSorda, chief executive, will stay on. Ryan said LaSorda promised him there were no layoffs beyond those announced earlier this year.

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