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Discussion Starter #41
FCA Sterling Heights Assembly Joins the Ranks of Bronze Plants in World Class Manufacturing
  • Michigan truck plant becomes 24th North American facility to achieve bronze in World Class Manufacturing methodology
  • Plant launched production of all-new Ram 1500 truck in 2018
  • Award recognizes progress toward becoming World Class


October 18, 2019 , Auburn Hills, Mich. -

The FCA Sterling Heights Assembly Plant has been awarded bronze status for its efforts in implementing World Class Manufacturing (WCM), the Company’s manufacturing methodology. It becomes the 24th North American facility to reach the milestone award.

The suburban Detroit truck plant, which launched production of the all-new Ram 1500 in 2018, earned bronze after receiving a minimum of 50 points in 10 technical and 10 managerial pillars following a two-day independent audit held on Oct. 16 and 17. The plant demonstrated clear WCM know-how and competence through employee-conducted pillar presentations and a review of projects implemented across the shop floor. The designation recognizes the long-term commitment of a workforce to making significant changes that can secure the future of a facility.

“The path to achieving this award has been full of twists and turns for the Sterling Heights workforce, but through it all, they have persevered and demonstrated a commitment to ensuring their future through the implementation of WCM,” Jorge Lares, Head of Manufacturing, FCA North America, said. “Reaching bronze confirms their understanding of the WCM methodology and their dedication to implementing best practices that improve the overall quality and safety in the plant. Our Sterling Heights workforce is to be commended for embracing WCM as a way of life.”

WCM, first implemented by Fiat in 2006 and introduced to Chrysler Group as part of the alliance between the two companies in June 2009, is a methodology that engages the employees to provide and implement suggestions on how to improve their jobs and their plants, promoting a strong sense of ownership. Plants awarded for their efforts also have a role in accelerating the implementation of WCM throughout the organization as coaches and mentors.

During an audit, zero to five points are awarded for each of the 10 technical pillars, which include safety, workplace organization, logistics and the environment, and for each of the 10 managerial pillars, such as management commitment, clarity of objectives, allocation of people, motivation of operators and commitment of the organization. A score of 85 would indicate World Class.

Currently, there are 10 North American plants that hold a silver designation, having been elevated from bronze after receiving a minimum of 60 points during an audit. Silver is awarded to plants that have taken a preventative approach to implementing the WCM methodology throughout the facility. The silver plants are:
  • Windsor (Ontario) Assembly Plant
  • Dundee (Michigan) Engine Plant
  • Toledo (Ohio) Assembly Complex
  • Saltillo (Mexico) South Engine Plant
  • Mack Avenue (Detroit) Engine Plant
  • Saltillo (Mexico) Van Assembly Plant
  • Warren (Michigan) Stamping
  • Toledo (Ohio) Machining
  • Sterling Stamping (Sterling Heights, Michigan)
  • Tipton (Indiana) Transmission Plant
In addition to Sterling Heights, there are 13 other facilities that hold the WCM bronze designation:
  • Saltillo (Mexico) Truck Assembly
  • Toluca (Mexico) Assembly
  • Trenton (Michigan) Engine Complex
  • Brampton (Ontario) Assembly
  • Indiana Transmission Plant II (Kokomo, Indiana)
  • Belvidere (Illinois) Assembly
  • Kokomo (Indiana) Transmission Plant
  • Indiana Transmission Plant I (Kokomo, Indiana)
  • Kokomo (Indiana) Casting
  • Warren (Michigan) Truck Assembly
  • Jefferson North (Detroit) Assembly Plant
  • CPK Interiors, Port Hope (Ontario)
  • Etobicoke (Ontario) Casting
About the Sterling Heights Assembly Plant
The Sterling Heights Assembly Plant was built in 1953 as a jet engine plant and was operated by the Army as the Michigan Ordinance Missile Plant with Chrysler serving as contractor, building Redstone and Jupiter missiles. It was converted to an automobile plant in 1980 by Volkswagen and purchased by Chrysler Corporation in 1983.

In June 2009, the Company announced that the plant would close at the end of 2010, however production was extended through 2012.

Then in July 2010, FCA announced that SHAP would remain open indefinitely and add a second shift of production. Five months later, an $850 million investment was announced to construct an all-new, state-of-the-art paint shop, as well as install new machinery, tooling and material-handling equipment to produce the Chrysler 200. Nearly a year later, the plant received another $165 million investment to add a new body shop. The 200 launched in March 2014, but by 2016, market demand was shifting away from cars to utility vehicles and the plant returned to a one shift operation in July 2016. The last 200 rolled off the line on Dec. 2, 2016.

On July 26, 2016, FCA announced that it would invest $1.48 billion to retool the plant to build the next generation Ram 1500 and support the future growth of the Ram brand. Two months later, the Company confirmed that it would create 700 new jobs to support production of the new truck, which officially launched in March 2018.

The plant's new body shop received LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold Green Building System certification in July 2015 for meeting the highest environmental standards.

Sterling Heights employs nearly 7,800 people working a 3-2-120 operating pattern – three crews working four 10-hour days on two shifts for 120 production hours per week.
 

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Discussion Starter #42
Vehicle Test Track at FCA's New Assembly Plant in Detroit


Nov 20, 2019

A new test track is taking shape at our new assembly plant in Detroit. Once complete, the 95,000-square-foot facility will validate that all vehicles rolling off the line are free of buzzes, squeaks and rattles before they ship to customers.
 

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Discussion Starter #43
We Are Thankful

•Nov 27, 2019


FCA is thankful for being part of Detroit community. #FCA4Detroit
 

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Discussion Starter #44
Historic Detroit power plant demolished to aid Jeep factory

December 13, 2019



DETROIT (AP) — A Detroit power plant that was more than 100 years old was demolished Friday to accommodate a Jeep factory.


Explosives were used to bring down the Conners Creek plant near the Detroit River on the city's east side. The plant, which belonged to DTE Energy, started in 1915 as a coal-fired operation but was later converted to natural gas. It was retired in 2008.
SOURCE
 

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Discussion Starter #45
Highest structural beam placed on Fiat Chrysler's new Detroit plant

Dec. 13, 2019

Detroit's first new auto assembly plant in nearly 30 years on Friday got its Christmas tree — a nickname for a new building's highest structural beam.



The top-most steel beam of 299 at Fiat Chrysler Automobile NV's plant on Detroit's east side was put in place with an actual evergreen on top to mark the successful and safe completion of the job. The milestone comes four months after the first beam was in put in place.

The $1.6 billion project is transforming the former Mack Avenue Engine Complex into an assembly plant for the next-generation Jeep Grand Cherokee SUV and a new three-row, full-size Jeep SUV. It will employ 3,850 people. The vehicles are expected to begin rolling off the line by the end of 2020.

SOURCE


 

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Discussion Starter #46
Christmas Tree Atop New FCA Plant Marks More than Just the Holidays




December 13, 2019 , Detroit - FCA today raised a Christmas tree to “top off” the new paint shop being built as part of a $1.6 billion investment to construct a new assembly plant on Detroit’s eastside.

While most recognize the evergreen tree as a classic symbol of the holiday season, for the ironworkers who spent the past four months assembling 6,500 tons of structural steel, it means something very different.

A long-standing tradition, the raising of a Christmas tree – or construction tree, as it is also known – marks the placement of the highest beam or structural element of a building. It also symbolizes that the construction milestone was reached safely, without serious injury.

“In ancient times, the tree was an announcement to the community to come and celebrate the completion of the new building, a tradition that is continued today,” said Joseph Panyard, FCA Project Manager for the new Detroit paint shop. “The last piece of steel for our project was painted white and signed by all of the ironworkers who have worked tirelessly on this project.”

In February, FCA announced the investment to build the first new assembly plant in Detroit in nearly 30 years, bringing 3,850 new jobs to the city. The new plant will produce the next-generation Jeep® Grand Cherokee and all-new, three-row, full-size Jeep SUV, along with their electrified models.
 

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Discussion Starter #47
FCA Aims to Keep Dreams of Homeownership Alive: Funds $1.8 Million Home Repair Grant Program for Detroit’s Eastsiders


December 17, 2019 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - FCA has completed the transfer of $900,000 to the City of Detroit’s Housing & Revitalization Department (HRD) — the first tranche of a $1.8 million commitment — to fund a home repair grant program for homeowners on the City’s east side. The program, one component of the Community Benefits Agreement FCA signed in May, provides eligible homeowners living near FCA’s new assembly plant on Mack Avenue with grants of up to $15,000 per property to invest in home repairs.

“Home ownership has widely been considered a part of the ‘American Dream’,” Mark Stewart, Chief Operating Officer, FCA North America, said. “We want to help our neighbors keep their dreams alive by providing them with an opportunity to invest in their homes.”

In a departure from similar programs, the FCA-funded home repair program is tailored to the needs of individual homeowners and, most importantly, homeowners are not required to repay the (non-cash) grants.

“This is the type of opportunity, along with the jobs we’re bringing to the city, that will help this community continue to grow and thrive for many years to come,” Stewart added.

The initial phase of the grant program kicked off in mid-August with homeowners on Beniteau Street (between Kercheval Avenue and Warren Avenue). A HRD inspector is working with homeowners to determine which repairs are a priority and is bidding work out to a list of pre-qualified contractors. It is anticipated that owner-occupied homes in the neighborhood surrounding FCA’s new assembly plant will have the opportunity to apply to receive a home repair grant this spring. Details on this process will be made available through HRD.

"One of the most important ways to keep our neighborhoods healthy is to preserve our existing housing stock. Unfortunately, many necessary repairs, such as roof replacement and furnaces, are cost prohibitive for residents,” Nicole Wyse, Associate Director, HRD said. “The FCA-funded program will enable homeowners to address these repair issues that otherwise would have been prolonged and continue to live comfortably in their homes.”

Following weeks of public meetings with residents in the neighborhoods around the Mack plant, FCA and the City of Detroit committed to a Community Benefits Agreement, which provides more than $35 million in support for neighborhood improvements, housing, workforce development, education and training programs, and environmental initiatives. This commitment is above and beyond FCA’s $2.5 billion investment in the new assembly plant and creation of 4,950 new jobs, which will support production of an all-new three-row, full-size Jeep® SUV and next-generation Jeep Grand Cherokee, as well as plug-in hybrid versions with the flexibility to build fully battery-electric models in the future.
 

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Discussion Starter #48
Belvidere Chrysler plant to shutdown ‘to align production with demand’

Jan 9, 2020


BELVIDERE, Ill. (WTVO) — The Belvidere Assembly Plant is set to temporarily shut down to “align production with demand”, a company spokesperson confirmed Thursday.


The plant will close between January 13th and 20th, and will resume production on January 27th.


Workers will receive 90 percent of their pay during the shutdown.

SOURCE
 

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Discussion Starter #49
Fiat-Chrysler to invest $400M in new Kokomo engine plant


Jan 14th, 2020

NDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) - The auto industry in Kokomo is getting a big boost, Governor Eric Holcomb announced during his State of the State address Tuesday.

Holcomb said Fiat-Chrysler plans to spend nearly $400 million on its facilities in Kokomo. The money would be put toward expanding and equipping a factory for production of a new engine, according to a release from the Indiana Economic Development Corporation.


“Fiat Chrysler’s intentions to expand its presence in Indiana, creating more quality careers for Hoosiers in the process, is a testament to Indiana’s pro-growth business environment and talent pipeline, and I couldn’t be more grateful," the governor said.

The company plans to build the GMET4 engine at the new plant, the first time Fiat-Chrysler has built an engine in Indiana. More than 1,000 workers will be needed to staff the facility. Those positions would be filled by the end of 2021 with existing workers and new hires.

The release from the IEDC did not mention how many new jobs may be available.

“I am looking forward to working with FCA as we finalize this plan for this investment in our community," Kokomo Mayor Tyler Moore said in the IEDC release. "Kokomo has always been a leader in making the best automotive products in the world. I appreciate FCA’s commitment to Kokomo as an employer and a community partner.”

Construction at the plant is scheduled to start later this year.

SOURCE
 

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Discussion Starter #50
Dakkota automotive supply plant expected to bring 400 new jobs to Detroit’s east side
Facility will make parts for FCA

01/23/20


DETROIT – A new automotive supplier plant will bring about 400 jobs to Detroit’s east side.

The Dakkota Integrated Systems plant will be built on the old Kettering High School site. The school at I-94 and Van Dyke Avenue closed seven years ago due to declining enrollment.

Suspension assemblies and instrument panels will be made at the site for Fiat-Chrysler’s production of the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Jeep Grand Wagoneer, which will both be locally built. Detroit was chosen over sites in Ohio and Canada.

"We are excited to bring manufacturing jobs to the east side of Detroit. Our mission is to create high quality jobs and develop top talent, while exceeding our customers’ expectations and helping them win the marketplace. We are proud to support FCA, help a Detroit neighborhood thrive, and showcase world-class quality auto parts built by hardworking Detroiters,” said Andra Rush, Dakkota CEO and president.

The 300,000 square-foot manufacturing facility is expected to be about a $45 million investment. The project has been awarded a $1.5 million Michigan Business Development Program grant. It has also been approved as a Next Michigan Business within the boundaries of the Detroit Next Michigan Development Corporation Renaissance Zone for a period of 15 years estimated to be worth $3.5 million.

Construction has already started at the site.

Pre-qualified Detroit residents will have the first shot at jobs at the new plant.

SOURCE
 

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Discussion Starter #51
Belvidere Chrysler plant announces another temporary shutdown in February

January 23, 2020 Andrew Carrigan

BELVIDERE (WREX) — The Belvidere Chrysler plant will shut down for a third time in February because of a lack of demand. The plant is currently not operating for that same reason.

According to a spokesperson with Fiat Chrysler, the owner of the Belvidere assembly plant, the shutdown will occur the week of Feb. 17.


According to that same spokesperson, it's happening so the plant can align production with demand.
The plant is currently on its second week of a temporary shutdown after the plant announced a 2 week shutdown earlier this month.

It's unclear how many employees are impacted by this development. When asked if more shutdowns were expected in 2020, spokesperson Jodi Tinson said she would not comment past February because production is subject to change.

This is the third time in the past 6 months the plant has shutdown temporarily to align with production.

The first week-long shutdown happened in late August of 2019.

It's been a noteworthy 12 months for Fiat Chrysler both in Belvidere and across the country.

In Feb. 2019, FCA Chrysler announced that 1,371 workers would be laid off at the Belvidere facility on May 6. Then, on the day those layoffs went into effect, FCA announced an additional 32 people would be laid off.

Later in May of 2019, Fiat Chrysler submitted a proposal to merge with French automobile manufacturer Groupe Renault to create a 50-50 merger between the two major automotive manufacturers.

In Dec. of 2019, Fiat Chrysler and the United Auto Workers union reached a collective bargaining agreement. Nearly 8,000 jobs were created with the new agreement, but none of those jobs were in Belvidere.

SOURCE
 

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Discussion Starter #52
FCA Foundation Renews Support for Jackson Street Commons
  • Supportive housing program for homeless veterans receives second $50,000 grant
  • FCA Foundation grant helps veterans make Jackson Street Commons 'A Place to Call Home'


February 3, 2020 , Howard County, Ind. - Family Service Association of Howard County Inc. (FSA) announced that it has received a second $50,000 grant for Jackson Street Commons, a permanent, supportive housing program for chronically homeless veterans in Howard and Tipton counties. The general operating grant comes from the FCA Foundation, the charitable arm of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.

“We are so grateful for the continued support from the FCA Foundation for Jackson Street Commons. The Foundation’s partnership has been invaluable in our efforts to help homeless veterans,” said FSA Executive Director Tracy Martino.

Located in Kokomo, Indiana, Jackson Street Commons provides permanent housing for 27 veterans and their families using the national “Housing First Model,” an approach that centers on providing chronically homeless people - veterans in this case - with a home, then surrounds them with a variety of support services that will help with their stabilization. Opened in May 2014, Jackson Street Commons is the third facility of its kind in Indiana.

“It is with ongoing community support that Jackson Street Commons provides housing and quality supportive services to help formerly homeless veterans become stably housed and work on the barriers that led to their homelessness in the first place. We are thankful for the generous contribution from the FCA Foundation to make Jackson Street Commons a place to call home for these veterans,” said Angie Ciski, Jackson Street Commons Director of Veterans Programs.

“We believe that one of the best ways that we can recognize the service and sacrifice of these brave women and men is to provide them with the tools and support they need to live their best lives,” said Christine Estereicher, Chief Operating Officer - FCA Foundation. “We are pleased to renew our support for Jackson Street Commons. Giving formerly homeless veterans a place that they can call home is a positive step for them, as well as the community.”

Family Service Association of Howard County
Family Service Association of Howard County, Inc. was established in 1968 as a non-profit organization that promotes healthy families and empowers vulnerable individuals and families through education, prevention, and crisis intervention programs.

About the FCA Foundation
The FCA Foundation is the charitable arm of North American automaker FCA US LLC, a member of the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. (FCA) family of companies. The FCA Foundation invests in U.S. charitable organizations and initiatives that help empower people, build strong, resilient communities and generate meaningful and measurable societal impacts. In support of these objectives, the FCA Foundation focuses on the following foundational pillars: youth development, education, support for military, veterans and their families, and community service.
 

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Discussion Starter #53
FCA UAW-Represented Employees to Receive 2019 Profit Sharing Payments
  • Payment recognizes hourly employees’ contributions to the Company
  • Total U.S. investment grows to more than $14 billion since 2009, with nearly 30,000 jobs created to date


February 6, 2020 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - Based on the Company’s 2019 financial performance, FCA US LLC announced today that the eligible profit sharing amount of $7,280 will be paid to UAW-represented employees on March 13, 2020. Approximately 44,000 employees are eligible to receive the payment.

With this payment, U.S. hourly employees have received on average more than $36,000 in profit sharing since 2009.


The 2019 profit sharing payment was calculated on the terms negotiated as part of the 2015 FCA-UAW Collective Bargaining Agreement. It is based on the adjusted EBIT margin performance of the North American region reported in the FCA N.V. financial results and on individual compensated hours.

In total, FCA has invested more than $14 billion and created nearly 30,000 new jobs in the U.S. since 2009.

About FCA US LLC
FCA US LLC is a North American automaker based in Auburn Hills, Michigan. It designs, manufactures, and sells or distributes vehicles under the Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep®, Ram, FIAT and Alfa Romeo brands, as well as the SRT performance designation. The Company also distributes Mopar and Alfa Romeo parts and accessories. FCA US is building upon the historic foundations of Chrysler Corp., established in 1925 by industry visionary Walter P. Chrysler and Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino (F.I.A.T.), founded in Italy in 1899 by pioneering entrepreneurs, including Giovanni Agnelli. FCA US is a member of the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. (FCA) family of companies. (NYSE: FCAU/ MTA: FCA).

FCA is an international automotive group listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “FCAU” and on the Mercato Telematico Azionario under the symbol “FCA.”
 

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Discussion Starter #54
FCA Belvidere Assembly Plant Awarded Silver Status for Continuous Efforts to Improve in World Class Manufacturing
  • Illinois Jeep® Cherokee plant becomes 10th FCA North American facility to earn silver
  • Award recognizes progress toward becoming World Class
  • Belvidere is the 25th FCA North American facility to achieve silver or bronze since 2009


February 6, 2020 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - The FCA Belvidere Assembly Plant, home of the Jeep® Cherokee, is the latest plant to be designated silver in the Company’s World Class Manufacturing (WCM) program. Recognized for its efforts in expanding the implementation of WCM principles, the Illinois facility is the Company’s 10th North American manufacturing location overall to achieve the silver milestone and the first plant this year.

WCM is the structured and rigorous FCA production system designed to make plants more flexible and competitive by eliminating waste and losses, improving safety and quality, and increasing productivity in a systematic and organized way.

First implemented by Fiat in 2006 and introduced to Chrysler Group as part of the alliance between the two companies in June 2009, WCM principles are applied to all aspects of the plant organization, from quality to maintenance, operations to logistics, with the goal of continuous improvement. WCM also engages the workforce to provide and implement suggestions on how to improve their jobs and their plants, promoting a sense of ownership.

“Achieving silver status is a major accomplishment for all the men and women who work at Belvidere Assembly and I congratulate them on this milestone,” Jorge Lares, Head of Manufacturing, FCA – North America, said. “The achievement of WCM award levels recognizes the long-term commitment of our workforce in fostering a culture of continuous improvement that consistently places Belvidere at the top of the list for quality in North America.”

Belvidere earned the silver milestone after being recognized with the bronze award in July 2016. Silver was awarded following a three-day audit during which the plant earned a minimum of 60 points in 10 technical and 10 managerial pillars by demonstrating clear WCM know-how and competence through employee-conducted pillar presentations and a review of projects that have been expanded across the shop floor.

Through established methodologies and tools, WCM engages the workforce to provide and implement suggestions on how to improve their jobs and their plants, promoting a sense of ownership. Award levels are confirmed through independent audits and awarded plants have a role in accelerating the implementation of WCM throughout the organization as coaches and mentors.

During an audit, zero to five points are scored for each of the 10 technical pillars, which include safety, workplace organization, logistics and the environment, and for each of the 10 managerial pillars, such as management commitment, clarity of objectives, allocation of highly qualified people, motivation of operators and commitment of the organization. A score of 85 would indicate World Class level.

In addition to Belvidere, nine other North American plants hold a silver designation, having been elevated from bronze. Silver is awarded to plants that have taken a preventative approach to implementing the WCM methodology throughout the facility. The silver plants are:
  • Windsor (Ontario) Assembly Plant
  • Dundee (Michigan) Engine Plant
  • Toledo (Ohio) Assembly Complex
  • Saltillo (Mexico) South Engine Plant
  • Saltillo (Mexico) Van Assembly Plant
  • Warren (Michigan) Stamping
  • Toledo (Ohio) Machining
  • Sterling Stamping (Sterling Heights, Michigan)
  • Tipton (Indiana) Transmission Plant
Currently, there are 15 North American facilities that hold the WCM bronze designation:
  • Saltillo (Mexico) Truck Assembly
  • Toluca (Mexico) Assembly
  • Trenton (Michigan) Engine Complex
  • Brampton (Ontario) Assembly
  • Belvidere (Illinois) Assembly
  • Kokomo (Indiana) Transmission Plant
  • Indiana Transmission Plant I (Kokomo, Indiana)
  • Indiana Transmission Plant II (Kokomo, Indiana)
  • Kokomo (Indiana) Casting
  • Warren (Michigan) Truck Assembly
  • Jefferson North (Detroit) Assembly Plant
  • CPK Interiors, Port Hope (Ontario)
  • Etobicoke (Ontario) Casting
  • Sterling Heights (Michigan) Assembly Plant
  • CPK Interiors, Guelph (Ontario)
Belvidere Assembly Plant
Construction of the Belvidere Assembly Plant began in 1964 and the first car rolled off the line on July 7, 1965. Over the years, the plant has produced a variety of models from the Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge and Plymouth brands. Following the alliance between Fiat and Chrysler Group in 2009, the Company invested $700 million in the plant to construct an all-new body shop to produce the Dodge Dart, a vehicle that showcased the combined engineering and technologies of the two companies. In 2016, the Company announced another $350 million investment to retool the plant to build the Jeep Cherokee, which was being relocated from the north plant of the Toledo (Ohio) Assembly Complex. Production of the Jeep Cherokee began in June 2017. The plant employs more than 3,800 people working two shifts.

Belvidere was awarded a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold Green Building System certification for meeting the highest environmental standards in April 2015. LEED, administered by the United States Green Building Council, is a comprehensive system to define, measure and validate green buildings. Certification in the national recognition program is based on strict standards in five key areas: site planning, water management, energy, material use and indoor environmental quality.
 

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Discussion Starter #55
The City of Detroit and FCA Seek Artists to Paint One of the Largest Municipal Art Installations in Detroit's History
Artist Open Call Coming Valentine’s Day




February 10, 2020 , Detroit - This Valentine’s Day, FCA will join Detroit’s Office of Arts, Culture and Entrepreneurship and City Walls Detroit murals program in showing the city some love. FCA and the City will issue a global open call to artists to create murals that will comprise one of the largest municipal art installations in Detroit’s history.

City Walls Detroit has worked with FCA to identify the canvases for the murals near FCA’s new auto assembly plant. FCA announced in February that it would invest $1.6 billion to convert two existing Mack Avenue facilities into a new assembly site for an all-new, three-row, full-size Jeep® SUV and the next-generation Jeep Grand Cherokee. FCA also will invest $900 million at Jefferson North to retool and modernize the plant for continued production of Dodge Durango and next-generation Jeep Grand Cherokee.


In total, the move will create 4,950 new jobs.

The Canvases for the Mural Project:
  • The North Wall, which runs along Beniteau Street, immediately across from Southeastern High School
  • The South Wall, located at Beniteau Street and Kercheval Avenue, faces a new stormwater park that includes a walking path, pollinator gardens and an educational pavilion
When the project is completed, Detroit’s east side will have one of the largest municipal mural installations in the region at 15 feet high by 1,500 feet long.

“Our commitment to this city goes well beyond our facility,” said Mark Stewart, Chief Operating Officer of FCA - North America. “We (FCA, the City of Detroit and residents) have a shared responsibility for the neighborhood around the new plant. These murals will reflect the values and identity of the community and our shared vision for a positive future.”

The Goals for the Mural Project are:
  • To ensure that the design represents both the rich history and bright future of Detroit’s eastside neighborhoods and engage its residents, especially students, in creating the mural’s design
  • To create a mural that leads residents and FCA to partner on further beautification efforts
  • To create art that has both educational and aesthetic value
  • To create art that reflects the values and identity of the community
In an effort to ensure that the mural reflects the culture and identify of Detroit’s eastside neighborhoods, the City and FCA is engaging local residents, especially students, in creating the mural’s design. Residents of both the Beniteau and Lillibridge communities, and students at Southeastern High School and Detroit Enterprise Academy, will help select a theme for the mural installation. City Walls Detroit will issue the open call and details about the application and selection process will be on the City Walls website on February 14, 2020.

The selection committee will choose an artist or team by June 1, 2020. The project is expected to be completed by October 30, 2020.

“This wonderful gift from FCA is just another example of how much arts and culture are alive and well and thriving here,” said Rochelle Riley, the City’s Director of Arts and Culture. “And even more great things are coming in Detroit, where the arts are a way of life.”

The mural project is part of the Community Benefits Agreement between FCA and the City of Detroit, a partnership that provides more than $35 million in support for neighborhood improvements, housing, workforce development, education and training programs, and environmental initiatives.

For more information, contact John Roach at City Hall at [email protected] or 313-244-7857 or Rochelle Riley at 313-720-1016 or [email protected]. Artists should contact Zachary Meers at [email protected].
 

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Discussion Starter #56
Manufacturing | February 12 2020 New Detroit plant construction unearths history


Construction of our new assembly plant in Detroit has been a journey of discovery.
For the past several months, construction crews have found parts of old house basements, street pavement, and massive old stamping plant foundations and steel beams. Since last spring, crews have removed more than 830,000 cubic feet of dirt and built a nearly 1.5-mile long, 10-foot high concrete sound wall (15 feet in some places) in addition to creating three water-retention ponds that will hold more than 500,000 cubic feet of water.
“The biggest obstacle during construction, so far, has been the removal of massive concrete foundations that were once part of the old Michigan Stamping Plant, which later became part of the old Chrysler Mack Avenue Stamping Plant,” Ryan Oswald, Building Project Manager, said. “During construction of the new plant’s paint shop, contractors were continually digging through thick, heavily reinforced concrete walls that contained embedded steel beams and plates.
“Although we knew about these obstructions ahead of time, determining the amount of time and effort that it would take to break and remove all of these obstructions was extremely difficult,” Oswald said.
The company was aware that the massive, old dirt berms along the west side of St. Jean Street were built over what used to be dozens of old homes, Oswald noted. The berms were built there in the late 1980s as part of the FCA Jefferson North Assembly Plant construction project.

“For this reason, we used historical maps and (ALTA) surveys to identify the likely locations of those old basements, and we designed our underground storm piping and underground detention systems to avoid them,” Oswald said. “In some locations, we did find old brick/block, but for the most part we were successful in avoiding the old residential basements.”
An ALTA survey is a detailed survey performed by a registered licensed surveyor, prepared in accordance with the standards specified by the American Land Title Association (ALTA) and the American Congress of Surveying and Mapping (ACSM).
Oswald said crews have not encountered any old street car rails in construction as the city apparently removed all of them during repaving projects over the years. However, the company is reusing part of the existing St. Jean Street pavement as part of the employee parking lot and a large trailer marshalling lot.
In February, FCA announced the investment to build the first new assembly plant in Detroit in nearly 30 years, bringing 3,850 new jobs to the city. The new plant will produce the next-generation Jeep® Grand Cherokee and all-new, three-row, full-size Jeep SUV, along with their electrified models.
 

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Discussion Starter #57
Kokomo’s automotive future looks bright


  • Mayor Tyler Moore








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Mayor Tyler Moore

In 1937 Chrysler established the automaker’s first manufacturing operation in Kokomo when the former Haynes Automobile plant on Home Avenue was converted to build manual transmissions.

That was the start of an incredible relationship between the City of Firsts and one of America’s leading auto manufacturers. Since that time, not only has our relationship grown, but Chrysler’s investment in our community has as well —and exponentially at that!



Decade after decade as the auto industry grew, Chrysler’s footprint in Kokomo expanded into the presence we have today. And after a number of mergers at the turn of the century and a few minor setbacks from 2007 to 2009, Chrysler (now Fiat Chrysler Automobiles or FCA) is as strong as ever and is once again investing in Kokomo. We welcome this continued commitment to the Kokomo area.

Back in 2011 State Representative Mike Karickhoff offered in his salute the importance of Chrysler’s continued investment in Kokomo. Karickhoff’s thoughts then were very similar to my own feelings now as mayor in 2020. He discussed how it would be difficult to imagine what the City of Kokomo would look like without FCA. In fact it would be hard to fathom any city with a population of over 58,000 continuing to thrive without an employer of nearly 8,000 jobs.

Again in 2008 to 2009 when our nation was trying to recover from near economic collapse, Kokomo remained confident that our largest employer had a plan to prevent the worst from happening. As a result of that plan, our plants remained open, the production lines kept moving, and our friends and neighbors still had jobs. We were blessed.

Fortunately we didn’t lose Chrysler then, but there was a point when we wondered what Kokomo might look like without them — and it didn’t look good.



“Unfortunately, we have seen what happens to automotive towns when plants close and jobs leave the city,” wrote Karickhoff. “There is a ripple effect felt through the entire community. People are forced to move and other businesses begin to close. It is a scenario no community wants to face.”

Fortunately we didn’t face that scenario, and Kokomo and Chrysler/FCA remained resilient. Now with FCA’s recent announcement to invest an additional $400 million in Kokomo’s ITP II plant, the future of the automotive industry in Kokomo looks even brighter.

This proposed investment will support assembly of the GMET4 engine and marks the first time FCA has built an engine in Indiana. The new four-cylinder engine will improve fuel economy and reduce CO2 emissions. However, the best news from this announcement for Kokomo is that production of this new engine will require a workforce of more than 1,000 by the end of 2021, with all of these positions being filled through a combination of FCA’s current employees and new hires.

This speaks volumes of the reputation our local workforce possesses and the amount of trust FCA has in that workforce! And this fact isn’t just true now but has been recognized by Chrysler/FCA year after tear since 1937.

Countless FCA corporate executives have been champions for Kokomo’s workforce over the years, and Brad Clark, current Vice President – Head of Engine and Transmission Manufacturing for FCA North America, is no different.

“Our Indiana operations have historically been known as the largest transmission installation in the world,” Clark recently stated. “With this potential investment, FCA has the opportunity to diversify our presence in the region. We look forward to working with the state and city of Kokomo to finalize our investment plans.”

Thank you, Mr. Clark, for your faith. Thank you, FCA, for your continued trust. And thank YOU, Kokomo workforce, for your unsurpassed dedication

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This story ran as part of the Kokomo Perspective's annual Salute to Chrysler Special Edition.

KTP continues to up the ante
Plant out-produces its capacity by more than 100,000
02/25/2020



The workforce at Kokomo Transmission Plant (KTP) continues to exceed expectations.

At the beginning of 2019, FCA put more emphasis on its eight-speed transmission by expanding production at KTP. There, a large portion of the plant’s more than 4,000 workers fully machine and assemble the transmission that eventually goes into a myriad of Dodge, Jeep, and Ram products.



Initially, the expansion aimed to elevate production rates to 700,000 a year for the eight-speed, but last year 820,000 of those transmissions rolled out of KTP. The previous capacity stood at 450,000 prior to the expansion.

“It’s a huge feat for KTP to pull off something like that and run a number above and beyond the capacity of the line,” said FCA General Manager Transmission Operations Bob Varsanik. “Anytime you run over capacity, you have to run overtime. But when you’re running at that kind of rate, you have to be careful about not tearing up your machines, and we’ve done a very good job of maintaining the equipment while managing the workforce … It takes the entire team to make that work.”

According to KTP Plant Manager David Dukes, the new pace wasn’t only an all-time high for the plant, but it also came at a time when worker safety remained a strong focus.

“I think last year was a good year for the plant,” said Dukes. “It was the fifth consecutive year for the plant having record safety performance … It’s a really crazy pace for eight speeds for sure, which shows it’s what the public wants. KTP really delivered for the company.”



In addition to the eight-speed transmission, workers at KTP continue to churn out a host of products. There the four-speed transmission is fully machined and assembled. Even though that product was supposed to “go away” two years ago, Varsanik said workers continue to produce the time-tested transmission on equipment that originally was installed in 1986. The fact that such equipment still is functioning at a high level is a testament to those who keep it running, said Varsanik.

“Hats off to the team that can manage this equipment that’s 30-plus years old,” said Varsanik.

In the 3-million-square-foot “monster,” production also continues on FCA’s SIEVT hybrid transmission.

KTP is the most complex facility in the area, with more varied and larger quantities of products coming out of it than from all of the area’s other plants. But despite the complexity and high production rates, the plant continues to achieve.

“It’s our most complex plant, and their safety numbers are in the top benchmark,” said Varsanik. “They are within the top one or two in all of manufacturing with all the lowest injury rates. They’re doing extremely well there. It is all attributed to how they work with the WCM methodology.

“Quality continues to be at very good levels there. We’re not seeing any issues even with any of the old products we’re running.”
 

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Fiat Chrysler to cut Windsor's 3rd shift as it drops Dodge Grand Caravan

Feb. 27, 2020


Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV said Thursday it will cut the third shift at Windsor Assembly this summer as it begins to phase out production of the Dodge Grand Caravan.

The June 29 deadline is the fourth new deadline granted to the 1,500 employees working in the minivan plant. It comes as the company "works to align volumes with demand while phasing out production of the Dodge Grand Caravan at the end of May," FCA spokeswoman Jodi Tinson said in a statement.

The vehicle is the Italian American automaker's best-selling minivan in the United States. The company earlier this month said the Chrysler Voyager would replace the Grand Caravan. The Voyager is the name adopted starting for the 2020 model year of low-end Chrysler Pacificas. The change clarifies Chrysler as the "people-mover" brand while Dodge, anchored by the Challenger and Charger muscle cars, focused on performance vehicles.

Leaders of the labor union that represents Canadian auto workers at the Windsor plant said the would continue to fight for the employees. The Unifor contracts with the Detroit Three automakers expire in September.

“We will Not stop," Unifor Local 444 posted on Facebook. "We are going to do every Damn thing we can to get everyone back to work! “

David Cassidy, the local's president, said in a video posted to Facebook that he had met with CEO Mike Manley and the heads of human resources and manufacturing.

"The official sundown of the Dodge Caravan, as most people know is going to be May 22," he said. "Obviously, our feeder plants potentially could be affected before June 29."

Tinson said Fiat Chrysler was unable to speak to the potential impact on suppliers.

The company represented about half of U.S. minivan sales last year, which have shrunk to roughly 400,000 vehicles from 1.2 million in 2005, according to auto information website Edmunds.com Inc. In 2019, Fiat Chrysler sold 122,648 Grand Caravans in the United States, a 19% year-over-year decrease, compared to 97,705 Pacificas, a 17% decline.

The automaker originally said last March it was eliminating Windsor's third shift and laying off its employees on Sept. 30. It later extended that into October because of a fleet order. In November, Fiat Chrysler made the deadline the end of March, though the plant idled for two weeks in January. The plant went from two shifts to three in 1993.

Fiat Chrysler earlier this month revealed the 2021 redesigned Chrysler Pacifica during the Chicago Auto Show, reintroducing all-wheel drive for the first time on the minivan since 2004.

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FCA Statement Regarding Michigan EGLE Approval of Voluntary Environmental and Air Monitoring Plans



February 28, 2020 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - The following is the FCA statement regarding the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) approval of the Company's voluntary Additional Projects Plan and Air Monitoring Plan related to Mack Assembly Plant in Detroit. Of note: EGLE approved FCA Mack Assembly Plant Permit to Install (PTI), 14-19, on April 26, 2019, which included elective environmental and air monitoring benefits.

We are pleased that Michigan EGLE approved both our voluntary environmental projects and our voluntary air monitoring plans related to the Mack Assembly Plant in Detroit. As we continue building our new state-of-the-art assembly plant and bring nearly 6,500 jobs to Michigan, including nearly 5,000 to Detroit, we know we have a great responsibility to minimize the environmental impact for this and future generations.

We take this responsibility seriously, which is why we’re proud to say that our new Detroit assembly plant is both the future home of two electrified Jeep® vehicles and one of our most efficient and sustainable manufacturing operations. In fact, this facility will have the lowest achievable VOC emission rate of any auto assembly plant in the country, and once up and running in late 2020, will employ the latest in advanced technologies and processes, including:
  • Natural-gas powered Detroit-based semi-truck fleet to haul parts;
  • Zero emission hydrogen fuel cell-powered material handling fleet;
  • Zero waste-to-landfill manufacturing facility;
  • More than 30 electric vehicle charging stations;
  • Industry-leading water processing and recycling systems;
  • Benchmark energy efficiency practices, including planned LEED Certification of the new state-of-the-art paint shop; and,
  • Exclusive use of energy efficient LED lamps (over 6,000) inside and outside the facility.
But, our commitment to Detroit goes well beyond our facilities. Our collective future lies in the hearts and minds of the people who live and thrive in the city. Supporting their growth is especially important to us.

Together, the city of Detroit and FCA are providing more than $35 million in support for neighborhood improvements, housing, workforce development, education and training programs, and environmental initiatives. FCA’s contributions include:
  • $1.8 million in grants to eligible homeowners (up to $15,000 per homeowner) on the city’s east side to repair and improve their homes; and,
  • $4 million to build an education-career pathway for local students and residents with the creation of a Manufacturing Career Academy at Southeastern High School.
Above and beyond our Community Benefits Agreement, FCA has committed an additional $3 million of capital investment toward the creation of a Mechatronics and Apprenticeship program at Wayne County Community College District.

In total, the $8.8 million allows schools and homeowners to self-direct their upgrades to facilities and operations, which could include roof replacements, air filtration systems, asbestos abatement, lead abatement, mold remediation or other capital needs.

Last year, we also developed an internship program for nine seniors and recent graduates of Southeastern High School, five of whom continue working at our Jefferson North Assembly Plant in Detroit.

Beyond these commitments, the FCA Foundation, the charitable arm of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, has awarded $4,435,000 in grants. The majority of those dollars have benefited Michigan residents through charitable organizations, including:
  • $1.6 million in grants to 17 academic and nonprofit organizations to advance educational opportunities for Detroit-area students; and,
  • $100,000 grant in support of the installation of more than 500 hydration stations in Detroit Public Schools Community District.
Our employees are equally dedicated to strengthening the communities in which we live and work.

Through FCA’s Motor Citizens volunteer program, approximately 11,450 Michigan-based employees volunteered more than 46,500 hours last year, contributing their time and talents to nearly 1,500 community service projects. These projects include several that directly impacted residents of Detroit’s east side, including the beautification of the Beniteau Community Park and Canfield Alliance gardens, Jefferson Chalmers flood relief, the Keep Belle Isle Beautiful campaign and other initiatives.

Our commitment to strengthening our relationship with the community runs deep. Every person at FCA knows that we need to earn the trust of our neighbors if we are to build a lasting, mutually beneficial relationship.

To do this, we began by listening to the community.

Throughout the last year, FCA leadership engaged with elected officials, community leaders, neighbors, environmental NGOs and other organizations. Over the course of 75 meetings, we worked to understand the environmental concerns expressed by our neighbors.

We also met regularly with the Neighborhood Advisory Council, comprised of nine elected local residents, to help guide our decision making. Based upon community input, the following outlines the “Additional Projects Plan”:
  • Constructing and installing a stormwater park to control rain water runoff, which will be available for use by the neighborhood and feature a walking path surrounded by native vegetation, pollinator gardens and an educational pavillion;
  • Installing green buffer and bioswales on and around the plant location to improve the neighborhood aesthetics, improve air quality, reduce noise, reduce stormwater runoff and improve wildlife habitat;
  • Reviving the urban tree canopy by planting 1,100 new trees both on our property and within the immediate neighborhood in counsel with arborists and residents;
  • Transforming 300 vacant lots into green spaces where once blighted homes stood by planting trees, shrubs and gardens together with community organizations;
  • Partnering with the Wildlife Habitat Council to create and support thriving urban biodiversity, pollinator habitats, and on-campus conservation projects;
  • Supporting the Chandler Park Conservancy on development of their Education Plaza;
  • Hosting ongoing programs, such as “Salmon in the Classroom,” with local schools to build awareness and educate young students on the benefits of environmental stewardship;
  • Installing solar-powered bus stop shelters together with the Detroit Department of Transportation, providing residents a well-lit location and available mobile device charging stations;
  • Hosting informative environmental events on the benefits of rain barrel capture of stormwater and providing rain barrels to interested residents; and,
  • Establishing a quarterly newsletter to communicate FCA-related community activities and environmental initiatives distributed through both digital and printed methods.
Beyond our obligations pursuant to our Permit to Install (No. 14-19), we have elected to enhance the State of Michigan’s air monitoring network by installing an ambient air quality monitoring station on our property. This is in support of the community’s request for more accurate and reliable data that reflects the air quality on the east side of Detroit. We will work in collaboration with EGLE to share this data with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as we all work to help improve residents’ quality of life.

To summarize, we are working toward a shared vision for a positive future and throughout the entire journey, we will do our best to earn your trust. We are incredibly grateful to the community, elected officials and all stakeholders for this opportunity to build our next 100 years in Detroit.

For more details on our proposal, please visit https://www.deq.state.mi.us/aps/downloads/permits/PubNotice/NSR_PTIs_Final_Decisions.pdf.

To get the latest developments on FCA activities, please visit fca4detroit.com.

FCA
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) is a global automaker that designs, engineers, manufactures and sells vehicles in a portfolio of exciting brands, including Abarth, Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Fiat Professional, Jeep®, Lancia, Ram and Maserati. It also sells parts and services under the Mopar name and operates in the components and production systems sectors under the Comau and Teksid brands. FCA employs nearly 200,000 people around the globe. For more details regarding FCA (NYSE: FCAU/ MTA: FCA), please visit www.fcagroup.com.
 
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