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Tuesday, 12 March 2019 22:19

Fiat Chrysler To Invest $4.5 Billion in 5 MI plants, Create 6,500 Jobs

Written by Ian Thibodeau & Nora Naughton, The Detroit News
Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan (center), along with Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (right) and several FCA employees announce that FCA will be building a new assembly plant in Detroit. Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan (center), along with Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (right) and several FCA employees announce that FCA will be building a new assembly plant in Detroit. Clarence Tabb Jr., Detroit News

Index

Also part of the city's commitment to the FCA project: organizing a community benefits agreement agreeable to the city, the automaker and residents; addressing any environmental issues that could exist on land the new plant would occupy; and ensuring approval of the commitments by City Council.

 

Community benefits agreements have been attached to several recent deals in the city, including Ford Motor Co.'s acquisition of the historic Michigan Central Depot and Ilitch Holdings Inc.'s District Detroit development. They typically ensure that a percentage of new jobs and construction jobs go to Detroit residents or that the companies train Detroit residents to fill the new positions.

 

"Some of this is going to be expensive," Duggan said. "That's a lot of work to do. But there's an awful lot at stake. We're going to do this without putting anybody out of their homes."

 

Michigan Economic Development Corp. CEO Jeff Mason said the state has been discussing incentives with FCA, but was not ready to "reveal the extent of those." Proposed incentives would go before the Michigan Strategic Fund board within the next few months: "We will use the tools available to us already within our toolkit," he said.

 

Also in Detroit, Fiat Chrysler plans to invest $900 million at its Jefferson North plant to retool for continued production of the Dodge Durango and the Jeep Grand Cherokee. The move would add 1,100 new jobs at that plant for a total of nearly 5,000 new jobs in the city.

 

The automaker also confirmed it is abandoning plans to repatriate production of its Ram Heavy Duty pickup from Mexico to Warren Truck Assembly. Instead, the Italian-American automaker will up its investment in Warren to $1.5 billion from $1 billion announced in 2018 to allow for production of two all-new full-size SUVs: the Jeep Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer. Production of previous-generation Ram 1500 pickup trucks will continue there. Fiat Chrysler said the moves would add 1,400 jobs.

 

The automaker will put $245 million into Warren Stamping and $160 million at Sterling Stamping to support the additional production announced Feb. 26. Those moves would add more than 80 new jobs at the two stamping facilities. Meantime, FCA also confirmed it plans to cut a shift on May 6 at its Belvidere Assembly Plant in Illinois, home to the compact Jeep Cherokee SUV, displacing 1,371 hourly workers.


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