Chrysler Automotive Fiat will move forward on plans to make big investments in Michigan and create close to 6,500 jobs after the Michigan Strategic Fund approved financial incentives for the company on Tuesday.
Detroit and investments and upgrades to existing operations in Metro Detroit, all designed to help the company ramp up production of its popular Jeep and RAM brands.
“The investment will increase our capacity for those growing brands,” Christine Estereicher, head of state and local governance affairs for FCA US customs the board Tuesday.
The board unanimously approved:
– For the Warren Stamping Plant, a five-year state essential services assessment exemption worth $ 692,928. $ 236 million in investment.
– For the Sterling Stamping Plant in the city of Sterling Heights, a five-year alternative state essential services assessment exemption worth $ 180,900. This is expected to create 83 new jobs and $ 169 million in investment.
– For the Jefferson North Assembly Plant and Mack Engine Plant in Detroit, a $ 10 million Michigan Business Development Program Grant, a Good Jobs for Michigan with tax capture for up to 10 years valued at up to $ 99 million, a 15-year State Essential Services Assessment Exemption valued at $ 13,456,976 and a 15-year State Essential Services Assessment Exemption valued at up to $ 18 million. The Jefferson North Assembly Plant is investing $ 901 million and creating $ 1,100 billion and creating 3,850 jobs.
The company's first move will be on the new Detroit plants, where it plans to build the next-generation Jeep Grand Cherokee and an all-new three-row Jeep SUV.
"Construction is set to begin immediately, should you approve this. We have our construction teams ready to go, ”said the board ahead of its approval.
Estericher said, FCA expects vehicles to start rolling off the new Detroit line before the end of 2020.
The company eyed sites in Illinois and Mexico, Estereicher said, but settled on Michigan.
“We're putting Michigan and Detroit first. This is our home, we are very proud, ”said FCA Chief Operating Officer for North America Mark Stewart at a press conference hosted by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer after the approval.
Whitmer applauded the investment, listing it was the largest private automation investment company in the United States in the last decade.
"It is fitting that the state that puts the world on wheels is where we will build the cars of the future, as well," she said.
She cited Michigan's place in the "mobility" industry, understood to include autonomous vehicles. The FCA investment bolsters the company’s ability to produce electric and hybrid cars, as well.
Asked about the state spending on the incentives, Whitmer cited spinoff jobs and investments the deal spurs.
"The incredible multiplier effect that will happen to our state is way beyond any investment that we are making on the front end," Whitmer said.
Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist II, a Detroit native, said Detroit helped put the world on wheels, and decedents of some original autoworkers could be working on this plant.
"We're ready to work on building the future, once again, in the Motor City," Gilchrist said.
Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel said the investment proved Southeast Michigan had a talented workforce, and the project gave the area an opportunity to “bring back that vibrancy in manufacturing.”
Stewart said the jobs would have created an average wage in the high $ 50,000 range. “We will have jobs at all levels,” he said, including plant mangers and skilled trades positions.