Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles today announced a $1 billion investment into Michigan and Ohio assembly plants to produce more Jeep products. The announcement, which FCA says will create 2,000 jobs, also came with confirmation that the company will produce a new Jeep Wagoneer, Grand Wagoneer and Jeep pickup truck.
Essentially the second phase of the company’s previously-announced plans to increase production capacity for trucks and SUVs, the $1 billion will include upgrading the company’s plant in Warren, Michigan. The retooling of Warren to produce the Jeep Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer. FCA says the upgrade will also allow the company to produce the Ram Heavy Duty at the plant, which is currently produced in Mexico.
The other part of the investment will go to the company’s Toledo, Ohio assembly complex. The company will retool the south portion of the plant to produce an all-new Jeep pickup, of which it hasn’t announced the name. The north side of the Toledo plant will be producing the all-new 2018 Jeep Wrangler and long-standing rumors suggest the pickup will be a pickup version of the new Wrangler.
FCA says both investments are slated to be complete 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 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 N.V. “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 U.S. 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.
FCA cautions that today’s investment announcements are contingent upon negotiations with state and local governments for incentives, though it did not elaborate on the incentives.