Re­port: Fiat Chrysler to put plant in Detroit

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution - - MARKET MOVERS - By David Koenig

Fiat Chrysler will open an­other as­sem­bly plant in the Detroit area, ac­cord­ing to a per­son fa­mil­iar with the au­tomaker’s plan.

The source said the plant will pro­duce SUVs but did not spec­ify when it will open or how many jobs it will cre­ate. The per­son spoke on con­di­tion of anonymity be­cause the plan has not been made pub­lic.

Fiat Chrysler de­clined to com­ment Thurs­day.

The Detroit News re­ported Thurs­day that the com­pany plans to re­open a for­mer en­gine plant on the city’s east side to make Jeep Grand Chero­kee SUVs with three rows of seats start­ing with the 2021 model year. The plant will em­ploy 100 to 400 peo­ple, the news­pa­per said. The Mack Av­enue En­gine II plant has been shut­tered since 2012.

Fiat Chrysler has seen strong sales of light trucks and SUVs in­clud­ing its Jeep and Dodge Ram mod­els, help­ing boost Novem­ber U.S. sales to more than 181,000 ve­hi­cles, its best Novem­ber in 17 years. Sales of the Ram line jumped 44 per­cent, but sales of Chrysler cars and mini­vans slumped 21 per­cent.

The com­pany’s chief fi­nan­cial of­fi­cer told in­vestors in June that trucks and SUVs would ac­count for 80 per­cent of rev­enue by 2022.

Fiat Chrysler’s de­ci­sion to open an­other as­sem­bly plant comes as other au­tomak­ers are re­trench­ing. Gen­eral Mo­tors an­nounced last week that it plans to cut up to 14,000 jobs in North Amer­ica and will con­sider clos­ing five plants as it aban­dons many cars in fa­vor of trucks and SUVs, as well as au­ton­o­mous and elec­tric ve­hi­cles.

Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump ripped GM for the cuts, which will in­clude salaried work­ers and fac­tory employees. Trump has promised more jobs in the auto in­dus­try. At a rally last sum­mer near a GM plant in Ohio, he told the crowd that jobs are “all com­ing back.”

Law­mak­ers in both par­ties have also blasted GM, com­plain­ing that the com­pany could be us­ing sav­ings from lower taxes to em­ploy more Amer­i­cans, not fewer.

CAR­LOS OSO­RIO / AP 2014

Fiat Chrysler Au­to­mo­biles’ world head­quar­ters is lo­cated in Auburn Hills, Mich. The Detroit plant will em­ploy 100 to 400 peo­ple, the Detroit News said.

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