Fiat Chrysler (FCA) recently announced a $4.5 billion investment in Michigan manufacturing facilities, including a Detroit-based plant that would build a new three-row full-size Jeep SUV. The investments will be spread between five other plants, of which one will be for building the next-generation Jeep Wagoneer and Jeep Grand Wagoneer including electric variants. As part of the investment, Fiat Chrysler is expecting to create a total of nearly 6,500 new jobs.
“Fiat Chrysler will be adding more than 6,500 JOBS in Michigan (Detroit area), doubling its hourly workforce as part of a 4.5 Billion Dollar investment,” wrote President Trump in a tweet. “Thank you Fiat Chrysler. They are all coming back to the USA, it’s where the action is!”
Of the $4.5 billion investment, $1.6 billion will be put towards the company’s Mack Avenue Engine Complex — which includes Mack I and Mack II. This is the first time that Mack II has been active since 2012. And Mack I is the current site of Pentastar engine production. And FCA is going to spend $119 million moving Pentastar production (the 3.6-, 3.2- and 3.0-liter) to a plant in Dundee, Michigan where 2.4-liter four-cylinder engines are being manufactured. Both of the Mack Avenue facilities will be equipped so that they can build the next generation WL Jeep Grand Cherokee and the new three-row full-size Jeep SUV and plug-in hybrid (PHEV) models.
The Mack plant construction is expected to start before the end of the second quarter this year. FCA said that this will be the first new assembly plant to built in the city of Detroit in nearly three decades. In 1991, Jefferson North was the last new assembly plant built in the city of Detroit.
Plus FCA is expected to spend $900 million on the Jefferson North Assembly Plant, known as JNAP. JNAP will be modernized in order to build the next-gen “WL” Grand Cherokee and continue building the Durango.
FCA said that the new Grand Cherokee is expected to arrive in the first half of 2021. And the new three-row full-size SUV is expected to arrive by the end of 2020.
And FCA also confirmed an investment at Warren Truck to retool for production of the Jeep Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer. That plant will continue building the Ram 1500 Classic. And production of the all-new Ram Heavy Duty will continue at its current location in Saltillo, Mexico. To support this manufacturing, FCA’s Warren Stamping (Warren, Michigan) and Sterling Stamping (Sterling Heights, Michigan) plants will receive investments of $245 million and $160 million, respectively.
“Three years ago, FCA set a course to grow our profitability based on the strength of the Jeep and Ram brands by realigning our U.S. manufacturing operations,” said FCA’s chief executive Mike Manley. “Today’s announcement represents the next step in that strategy. It allows Jeep to enter two white space segments that offer significant margin opportunities and will enable new electrified Jeep products, including at least four plug-in hybrid vehicles and the flexibility to produce fully battery-electric vehicles.”
Since June 2009, FCA invested nearly $14.5 billion in its U.S. manufacturing operations and created nearly 30,000 new jobs. These investments also included $350 million in the Belvidere Assembly Plant (Illinois) to build the Jeep Cherokee, $700 million in the Toledo Assembly Complex (Jeep Wrangler), $1.48 billion in the Sterling Heights Assembly Plant (next-generation Ram 1500 truck), and $273 million in the south plant of the Toledo Assembly Complex (all-new Jeep Gladiator).