Fiat Chrysler to Add Second Jeep Assembly Plant in Detroit

Fiat Chrysler to Add Second Jeep Assembly Plant in Detroit

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV plans to convert an idled engine plant in the city into an assembly plant as part of the automaker's plans to add a new three-row Jeep SUV to its lineup, The Detroit News has learned.

News of the Fiat Chrysler's new plant leaked on the same day General Motors Co Chief Executive Mary Barra was finishing a two-day visit in Washington with lawmakers furious over the carmaker's plan to close five North American assembly plants next year and cut up to 15,000 jobs due to weak demand for sedans and small cars in the US market. The conversion to building the three-row Grand Cherokee could happen quickly enough for the new model to go on sale for the 2021 model year, according to The Detroit News.

Chrysler could not immediately be reached for comment. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the plan has not been made public. Last week, GM announced it would close several plants in North America and lay off as many as 15,000 workers, a move that drew criticism from affected communities, unions, and politicians including President Trump.

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Yet 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. "This is a very different situation than what GM is dealing with".

By 2014, the American vehicle company was a subsidiary of Fiat. Trump has promised more jobs in the auto industry.

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