Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) said it will invest $1 billion to modernize automotive plants in Michigan and Ohio Sunday, a move that will create 2,000 jobs.
The announcement is the second phase of a plan the company announced in January 2016. FCA said it is realigning its U.S. manufacturing operations to respond to a shift in demand for trucks and SUVs, and to further expand its Jeep and Ram brands.
The $1 billion investment will be put toward modernization of the Warren Truck Assembly Plant in Michigan, where the company will produce its new Jeep Wagoneer and the Grand Wagoneer. The investment will also be put toward the modernization of the Toledo Assembly Complex in Ohio, where the Jeep pickup truck will be manufactured.
The company said more than 2,000 jobs will be added to support the increased production at the two plants, and the two modernization efforts are expected to be completed by 2020. The global automaker said that the investment in Warren will enable the plant to produce the Ram heavy-duty truck, which is currently produced in Mexico.
President-elect Donald Trump applauded the company for the announcement, and took to Twitter to highlight Fiat Chrysler, and Ford Motors, for investing in the U.S.
“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,” Sergio Marchionne, CEO of FCA, said in a statement.
Chrysler was founded in 1925. It became one of the “Big Three,” along with Ford and General Motors. The automaker suffered in the 1970s before Lee Iacocca came in as CEO in 1985. In 1998, Chrysler merged with German automaker Daimler-Benz, and then in 2009 Daimler Chrysler filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy.
Chrysler survived the financial crisis, but not unscathed. Following bankruptcy, the U.S government, Canada, the UAW pension fund and Fiat owned a controlling interest in the company. The iconic Michigan brand merged with Fiat to form Fiat Chrysler Automobiles in 2014.
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