AUBURN HILLS - Chrysler will keep open through 2011 its Sterling Heights, Michigan, plant near Detroit that it had once planned to close at the end of 2010, a United Auto Workers vice president said on Thursday.

UAW Vice President General Holiefield said the plant will get an extension for producing cars through 2011. Holiefield is the UAW's liaison with Chrysler.

The Sterling Heights Assembly Plant, or SHAP, makes the Chrysler Sebring and the Dodge Avenger.

Last week, Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne said that SHAP would remain open into 2011. Marchionne is also the CEO of Fiat, which has management control of Chrysler. (Reporting by David Bailey; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)