Fiat Chrysler Automobiles on Friday confirmed a $1 billion investment in its Warren Truck Assembly plant in Michigan to prepare it for production of next-generation Ram Heavy Duty pickups as well as new Jeep flagship SUVs.
The plant currently builds the Ram 1500 but will switch to next-generation 2500 and 3500 Heavy Duty models in 2020. Next-generation Ram 1500 production, which starts this year, will take place at the nearby Sterling Heights Assembly plant.
The current 2500 and 3500 are built at the Saltillo Truck Assembly Plant in Mexico. Under FCA's plans, the Mexican plant will be repurposed to produce future commercial vehicles.
Thus the move solidifies the U.S. as the global manufacturing hub for Ram pickups.
FCA also confirmed on Friday that the Warren Truck Assembly plant will build the new Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer for Jeep. The full-size SUVs will utilize the body-on-frame platform debuting in the next-generation Ram pickups, as opposed to the earlier plan of using a stretched version of the unibody platform destined for the next-generation Grand Cherokee.
The new Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer are expected sometime after 2020.
The addition of the new models at the Warren Truck Assembly plant will see about 2,500 jobs created. FCA cited the passage of federal tax reform legislation late last year as making the investment possible. The automaker said the tax reform will also enable it to provide a $2,000 bonus to each member of its roughly 60,000-strong workforce in the U.S.
“These announcements reflect our ongoing commitment to our U.S. manufacturing footprint and the dedicated employees who have contributed to FCA's success,” FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne said 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.”
FCA has so far invested $10 billion and created 3,700 jobs at its U.S. plants since 2009.