Published: Sat, December 08, 2018
Finance | By Loren Pratt

Fiat Chrysler announces plans to open new factory in Detroit

Fiat Chrysler announces plans to open new factory in Detroit

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles plans to reopen its long-idled Mack II engine plant in Detroit as an assembly plant to build three-row Jeep SUVs, The Detroit News and CNBC reported today, citing multiple sources familiar with the plans.

It would be the first new assembly line to open in Detroit in 27 years, and the first new USA assembly plant to be built by GM, Ford and Chrysler in more than a decade. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the plan has not been made public.

The automaker will use the plant to help manufacture a new three-row Jeep Grand Cherokee SUV for model year 2021. Fiat Chrysler's sales in the US were up 8 percent in 2018. The site would reportedly employ about 400 people.

The planned revival comes on the heels of General Motors Co.'s announcement last week that it will cut more than 14,000 jobs and close five North American factories next year as part of a sweeping realignment to prepare for a future of electric and self-driving vehicles. Sales of the Ram line jumped 44 percent, but sales of Chrysler cars and minivans slumped 21 percent.

"[Fiat Chrysler] is essentially out of capacity", Jeff Schuster, an analyst with LMC Automotive, told the Detroit News. "This is a very different situation than what GM is dealing with".

News of Fiat Chrysler's plan may put pressure on GM to respond, coming moments before Barra approached the cameras on Capitol Hill to discuss her meetings with lawmakers. Trump has promised more jobs in the auto industry.

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