FCA to shift Ram heavy duty production from Mexico to U.S.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles confirmed the next phase of its industrialization plan to complete a total US$ 1 billion investment in plants in Michigan and Ohio, and the addition of 2,000 new jobs.
“The plan called for the realignment of the Company’s U.S. 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,” the company announced in a press release.
With the US$ 1 billion investment, FCA US will retool and modernize the Warren Truck Assembly Plant (Michigan) to produce the all-new Jeep Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer, and the south plant of the Toledo Assembly Complex (Ohio) to build an all-new Jeep pickup truck. These actions are planned to be completed by 2020.
More than 2,000 jobs also will be added to support production of these models. The added benefit of the investment in Warren is that it will enable the plant to produce the Ram heavy duty truck, which is currently produced in Mexico. The facility located in the northern state of Coahuila will remain manufacturing other Ram versions.
“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 U.S. 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.
The announcement of increased U.S. investment, new jobs, and relocating of heavy duty truck production away from Mexico comes as automakers scramble to react to threats from President-elect Donald Trump to levy an import tax on vehicles produced outside the U.S.
Knowledgeable sources told Automotive News that FCA’s decision was not related to Mr. Trump’s threats against Ford, GM and Toyota. FCA’s decision to shift more truck and SUV production to U.S. facilities was first signaled back in 2016, before Mr. Trump’s recent flood of threats against automakers importing U.S. market cars from Mexico.
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