FCA (Fiat Chrysler Automobiles) U.S has announced on January 8th that it has confirmed the next phase of its industrialization plan with a total $1 billion investment in its plants in both Michigan and Ohio. Along with that, FCA has announced the addition of 2,000 new American jobs. Sunday’s announcement is the second phase of a plan announced by FCA back in January 2016. The plan called for the realignment of the company’s US manufacturing operations to fully utilize available capacity to respond to a shift in market demand for trucks and SUVs, and to further expand the Jeep and Ram brands. This plan resulted in the deaths of the Dodge Dart and Chrysler 200 models as one of FCA’s retooling plans involved moving production of the Ram 1500 to the now defunct Chrysler 200’s Sterling Heights Assembly Plant in Michigan.
FCA US strives to demonstrate its commitment to strengthening its US manufacturing base. Since 2009, FCA US has created more than 25,000 new jobs and invested more than $9.6 billion into its US manufacturing facilities. With the newly announced $1 billion investment, FCA US will retool and modernize the Warren Truck Assembly Plant in Michigan to produce the all-new Jeep Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer, and the south plant of the Toledo Assembly Complex in Ohio to build an all-new Jeep pickup truck. The Warren plant will also benefit from the investment as it will now be able to produce the Ram heavy duty truck which is currently produced down in Mexico. With the retooling of these plants, more than 2,000 jobs will be added to support production of these new models. Both updates are scheduled to be completed by 2020.
“The conversion of our industrial footprint completes this stage of our transformation as we respond to the shift in consumer tastes to trucks and SUVs, and as we continue to reinforce the US as a global manufacturing hub for those vehicles at the heart of the SUV and truck market,” said Sergio Marchionne, Chief Executive Officer of FCA NV. “These moves, which have been under discussion with Dennis Williams and the rest of the UAW leadership for some time, expand our capacity in these key segments, enabling us to meet growing demand here in the U.S., but more importantly to increase exports of our mid-size and larger vehicles to international markets.
“The expansion of our Jeep lineup has been and continues to be the key pillar of our strategy. Our commitment to internationalize the Jeep brand is unwavering, and with these last moves, we will finally have the capacity to successfully penetrate markets other than the US which have historically been denied product due to capacity constraints. In addition, these all-new products will reach new consumers, as well as those that have been part of the Jeep tradition,” said Marchionne.