Fiat Chrysler announced Tuesday that it plans $4.5 billion in new US investment to upgrade five existing plants and build a new factory in Detroit, creating some 6,500 jobs.
The existing plants, all also located within the Midwestern state of Michigan, will be enhanced to boost output of popular Jeep and Ram trucks, as well as to manufacture electric vehicles and two new autos under the Jeep brand, the company said.
FCA said the plan was in line with a strategic shift undertaken in 2016 where it retooled several plants to discontinue compact car production and shift more manufacturing capacity to trucks and other large vehicles that have assumed an ever-increasing share of the US market amid relatively low gasoline prices.
“Today’s announcement represents the next step in that strategy,” said FCA Chief Executive Mike Manley.
“It allows Jeep to enter two white space segments that offer significant margin opportunities and will enable new electrified Jeep products, including at least four plug-in hybrid vehicles and the flexibility to produce fully battery-electric vehicles.”
FCA plans to convert its Mack engine plant in Detroit into an assembly plant with 3,850 new jobs to build trucks, SUVs and plug-in hybrid vehicles.
The city of Detroit has 60 days under an agreement with FCA to acquire property needed for the project, the company said.
The automaker will also boost investment into its Jefferson North factory in Detroit, adding another 1,100 jobs.
The two projects will comprise the only automotive assembly plants in the city of Detroit, the company said.
The company also announced smaller enhancements to plants in Dundee, which is west of Detroit, and to Sterling Heights and Warren, which are both north of Detroit.