Fiat Chrysler Automobile (FCA) is planning to invest more than $1 billion to modernize its Warren Truck Assembly Plant in Michigan and create 2,500 additional jobs so it can relocate production of its Ram Heavy Duty pickup truck from Saltillo, Mexico, by 2020.
This investment is on top of the $1 billion the OEM committed to invest in the Warren factory last year to accommodate its Jeep product line, which included building its all-new Jeep Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer.
FCA said its Saltillo Truck Assembly Plant will be repurposed to produce future commercial vehicles for global distribution.
The company also noted that it has invested some $10 billion in its U.S. manufacturing operations since June 2009, with some $3.5 billion alone focused on Jeep and Ram Truck production realignment that included the addition of 3,700 new jobs.
That $3.5 billion investment and related actions involved production shifts at three plants in Illinois, Ohio and Michigan to gain capacity for the Jeep Cherokee, Jeep Wrangler and Ram Light Duty truck, as well as the introduction of three new Jeep models at plants in Ohio and Michigan. Broken down, those investments include:
• $350 million in the Belvidere Assembly Plant in Illinois to produce the Jeep Cherokee, which moved from Toledo, OH, in 2017. More than 300 new jobs were added to support production.
• $700 million in the Toledo Assembly Complex in Ohio to retool the North plant to produce the next generation Jeep Wrangler. Approximately 700 new jobs will be added to support production, FCA said.
• $1.5 billion in the Sterling Heights Assembly Plant in Michigan to build the next generation Ram 1500 truck. More than 700 new jobs will be added to support production, the company noted.
• $1 billion in the south plant of the Toledo Assembly Complex to prepare the facility to produce an all-new Jeep truck, and in the Warren Truck Assembly Plant to modernize the plant to build the all-new Jeep Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer. More than 2,000 new jobs will be added at these two plants to support production, FCA pointed out.
The company is also making a special bonus payment of $2,000 to approximately 60,000 FCA hourly and salaried employees in the U.S., excluding senior leadership.
The payment, which FCA said “recognizes employees for their continued commitment to the company’s success,” will be made in the second quarter of this year and will be in addition to any profit sharing and salaried performance bonuses that employees would otherwise be eligible to receive in 2018.
The special bonus will be paid to all eligible employees of the FCA automotive and components operations in the U.S., the OEM added.
“These announcements reflect our ongoing commitment to our U.S. manufacturing footprint and the dedicated employees who have contributed to FCA’s success,” said Sergio Marchionne, FCA’s CEO, in a statement. “It is only proper that our employees share in the savings generated by tax reform and that we openly acknowledge the resulting improvement in the U.S. business environment by investing in our industrial footprint accordingly.”