FCA to build $6.5b new plant
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) has confirmed plans to invest a total of $4.5 billion, the equivalent of NZ$6.5b, in five of its existing Michigan plants, and is also planning on building a new assembly plant within city limits.
The move would increase capacity to meet the growing demand for its Jeep and Ram brands, including the production of two new Jeep-branded white space products, as well as electrified models. The proposed projects would create nearly 6,500 new jobs.
The plant actions detailed represent the next steps in a US manufacturing realignment that FCA began in 2016.
In response to a shift in consumer demand toward SUVs and trucks, the company discontinued compact car production and retooled plants in Illinois, Ohio and Michigan to make full use of available capacity to expand the Jeep and Ram brands.
Those actions have resulted in the recent launches of the all-new Jeep Wrangler and all-new Ram 1500, and the introduction of the newest member of the Jeep family, the all-new Jeep Gladiator.
“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,” says Mike Manley, CEO of the FCA.
“The 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.”
The city of Detroit has 60 days to meet the terms of a Memorandum of Understanding. The additional investments are subject to the successful negotiation and final approval of development packages with the state and other local governments.