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Discussion Starter #61 (Edited)
FCA to Invest $400 Million to Convert Idled Indiana Transmission Plant to Build Engines; Nearly 200 New Jobs to be Added to Support Production

    • FCA North America COO makes announcement joined by Indiana Governor
    • Indiana Transmission Plant II in Kokomo to be transformed into engine plant
    • Revamped facility to retain about 1,000 jobs and add nearly 200 more, bringing total FCA employment in Indiana to more than 8,300
    • GMET4, part of FCA’s Global Medium Engine family, provides outstanding fuel economy and low emissions
    • Engine to play important role in electric engine offerings
    • U.S. production of the GMET4 relocated from Italy
    • Facility to be renamed Kokomo Engine Plant; production to start in Q2 2021
    • FCA has invested more than $2 billion in Indiana and more than $14 billion in the U.S., while adding more than 30,000 new jobs, since 2009

March 5, 2020 , Kokomo, Ind. - FCA announced today that it will invest $400 million to repurpose an idled transmission plant in Kokomo, Ind., to build the GMET4 engine – the Company’s 2.0-liter Global Medium Engine inline four-cylinder turbo that is currently offered on the Jeep® Wrangler and Jeep Cherokee. With this investment, 1,000 Indiana jobs will be retained with nearly 200 new jobs added to support production, bringing total employment in the state to more than 8,300.

FCA North America Chief Operating Officer Mark Stewart, along with Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb, Kokomo Mayor Tyler Moore, UAW Vice President and Director of the FCA Department Cindy Estrada and UAW Region 2B Director Rich Rankin, joined other local officials and guests to celebrate the news at an event at the plant, which will be renamed Kokomo Engine Plant.

In his remarks, Stewart talked about the importance of this engine to the Company’s future powertrain strategy.

“The GMET4 will be a very important engine for us as we look to deliver on the promises we made as part of our five-year plan in 2018,” Stewart said. “While the 2.0-liter is a current engine option on the Jeep Wrangler and Cherokee models, a significant number of new technologies can be applied to this engine, making it relevant for the future. It will play an important role in our plans to offer electric engine options across 30 nameplates that FCA will bring to markets around the world by 2022.”

The new facility will be the source of all U.S. production for the engine currently built in Termoli, Italy. Production is expected to begin in Q2 2021.

Stewart acknowledged the support of the State of Indiana, the City of Kokomo and the UAW for working with the Company to finalize its investment plans.

“I’d like to add my appreciation to both Governor Holcomb and Mayor Moore for seeing the opportunities that exist with this investment and helping give this facility new life,” Stewart said. “I also want to thank Cindy Estrada and Rich Rankin, as well as the rest of the UAW leadership, for working with us to preserve and add jobs. Their support will be critical to building a quality engine for our customers.”

For more than eight decades, FCA has built transmissions in Indiana, more than 90 million since record keeping began in 1974. Since 2009, the Company has invested nearly $2 billion in its four area plants to produce the eight- and nine-speed transmissions, some of the most fuel-efficient transmissions on the market. When production of the GMET4 launches, it will mark the first time in the Company’s history that it has built engines in the state.

But, according to Stewart, the decision to invest in Indiana and transform the plant into the Kokomo Engine Plant came down to the level of commitment shown by the women and men who work in the region.

“As engine technology continues to change, our focus must continue to be on our most valuable asset – our people,” Stewart said. “This engine program will bring new job opportunities for our current workforce, as well as the manufacturing workforce of the future. Our employees – some of whom are second-, third- or even fourth-generation FCA employees – have always demonstrated a passion to help deliver great products for our customers.”

In total, FCA has committed to invest more than $14 billion in its U.S. manufacturing operations, creating nearly 30,000 new jobs since June 2009.

GMET4 Engine
The 2.0-liter turbocharged I-4 engine is part of FCA’s Global Medium Engine family. Identified as the GMET4, this high-tech, direct-injection engine uses a twin-scroll, low-inertia turbocharger mounted directly to the cylinder head, along with a dedicated cooling circuit for the turbocharger, intake air and throttle body for exceptional responsiveness, performance and fuel efficiency. The engine is fitted with double overhead camshafts, dual independent camshaft timing and cooled exhaust gas recirculation. Direct injection delivers fuel into the cylinder and, coupled with turbocharging, enables more efficient combustion, reduced emissions and increased performance. The foundation of the engine is a low-pressure sand cast-aluminum block with cast-in iron cylinder liners and a cast aluminum alloy cylinder head.

When equipped with the GMET4, the Jeep Cherokee can deliver over 30 mpg highway and provide outstanding off-road performance, while the Jeep Wrangler can deliver a rating of 24 mpg highway.

FCA in Indiana
Construction of Indiana Transmission Plant II (ITPII), which will be renamed Kokomo Engine Plant, began in 2002 and launched production of five-speed transmissions in November 2003. The plant also produced components for eight-speed transmissions. ITPII built its last five-speed transmission in August 2018 and was idled in the fall of 2019.

FCA currently operates three transmission plants and one casting plant in Indiana. The portfolio of transmissions includes four-, six-, eight- and nine-speed transmissions, as well as the SiEVT transmission for the Chrysler Pacifica plug-in hybrid electric minivan, built at the Windsor Assembly Plant in Ontario, Canada. The casting plant produces aluminum parts for automotive components, transmission and transaxle cases, and engine block castings.
 

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Discussion Starter #62
FCA Kokomo Engine Plant Announcement


Mar 6, 2020
 

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Discussion Starter #63
Worker at Indiana FCA Plant Tests Positive for Coronavirus

Mar 13, 2020


A worker at the Fiat-Chrysler plant in Kokomo, Indiana, has tested positive for COVID-19. According to a spokesperson for Fiat-Chrysler, those who may have come into contact with the worker have been put in home quarantine.

In the meantime, according to the spokesperson, the worker’s station has been disinfected and the entire plant will be sanitized. Production at the factory is ongoing, but FCA says it is adjusting spacing of workers and break times in order to reduce the likelihood of more infection. Fiat has temporarily closed plants in Northern Italy, where the rate of infection is very high.

UAW Vice President Cindy Estrada released a statement expressing the union’s support for the sickened worker in Kokomo. “Our thoughts and support are with our UAW member and their family, friends and community in Kokomo, Indiana,” she said. She also encouraged UAW members and others to wash their hands and avoiding contact with other people.

According to Bloomberg News, a spokesperson for Fiat-Chrysler said that more than 14,000 employees who work in offices have been told to work from home.

On March 9, Boeing made a similar announcement about an employee at their Everett, Washington facility who tested positive for the virus. Boeing reported that the employee in question was in quarantine and receiving treatment and asked coworkers to self-quarantine at home. The Chicago, Illinois-based company had more than 65,000 employees in Washington as of 2017. The West-Coast state is the worst-hit state in the United States with more than 370 cases at press time according to Johns Hopkins University.

SOURCE
 

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Discussion Starter #64
FCA Statement on Shift Pattern Changes at U.S. Manufacturing Facilities Related to COVID-19


March 17, 2020 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - Following several days of proactive discussions with our UAW partners focused on providing a safe environment for our employees, we have agreed that in addition to our extensive current protocols to protect our employees, FCA will implement a series of shift pattern and production changes across our manufacturing plants in the United States. These changes, which include rotating shifts to allow for greater separation of employees and further enhancing our new sanitation protocols, are focused on providing a safe environment and peace of mind to our employees at their place of work. Despite the continuing economic turmoil caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, FCA continues to work on fulfilling a strong North American order book from both fleet and dealer partners.

Following his visits today to multiple company facilities across southeast Michigan, FCA CEO Mike Manley commented: “I spent time today with a number of our employees in our assembly and stamping plants. I wanted to see for myself how we are implementing our new cleaning and workplace protocols, and be assured that we are putting their welfare first as we continue to support the effort to arrest the spread of this virus. Ultimately this will pass, and when it does, it is important to me that we can say we worked hard with our UAW partners to provide the safest work environment for our people."
 

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Discussion Starter #65
FCA Statement Regarding Suspension of Production Operations at North American Manufacturing Facilities


March 18, 2020 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - Working with the UAW and listening to the concerns of our people, we have agreed to cease production at our plants across North America, starting progressively from today through the end of March. While production is paused, the Company will put actions into place to facilitate the steps agreed to through the joint task-force set up between the UAW and the automakers. Through this period, which we will re-evaluate at the end of this month, FCA will work to enhance its manufacturing operations to facilitate the changes agreed with the UAW including shift timings, structures and enhanced cleaning protocols.

Commenting on this action, FCA CEO, Mike Manley said: “Working with the UAW, and having visited many of our plants yesterday, we need to ensure employees feel safe at work and that we are taking every step possible to protect them. We will continue to do what is right for our people through this period of uncertainty.”

With our priority towards the health and safety of our workforce we are also evaluating the impact of all steps being taken inside the company related to the Coronavirus emergency on our current financial guidance. We will provide an update on our financial guidance when that evaluation is complete and we have sufficient visibility on market conditions.
 

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Discussion Starter #66
Fiat Chrysler sends more Auburn Hills workers home after COVID-19 death

March 22, 2020


Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV is letting more employees at its Auburn Hills headquarters stay home, the automaker said Sunday. The decision followed the death of a worker there after the individual tested positive for COVID-19, according to two sources familiar with the situation who were not authorized to speak publicly.

The company has allowed thousands of white-collar employees globally to work remotely if they are able to do so. It also is shutting down manufacturing plants around the world, including in North America following outcries from the rank-and-file and pressure from labor unions.

Now, it has agreed that employees at its technology center — most of whom are salaried workers represented by the United Auto Workers — can stay home, too. The Detroit Free Press first reported the news.

"In combination with increased remote working, we have made the decision to postpone work associated with the test laboratories and pilot plant from Monday, March 23," the company said in a statement. "This postponement will be reviewed on a regular basis and employees will be advised when we intend to resume operations."


When asked about the case at the technology center, the automaker said: "We have cases of COVID-19 in our business enterprise, however out of respect for employee privacy, we will not provide additional comment."

The company has said it has implemented new cleaning programs and social distancing protocols at all of its facilities in response to recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


Cindy Estrada, UAW vice president and director of the FCA Department, said the union has worked around the clock with the automaker to ensure their well-being.

"Today's decision by FCA is another important step in following CDC guidelines and helping to flatten the growth of this pandemic and protect the health and safety of our members," Estrada wrote.

Meanwhile, General Motors Co. on Sunday evening stopped production “out of an abundance of caution” at its Arlington, Texas, assembly plant where it builds full-size SUVs. The automaker learned there was a probable coronavirus case at the plant, GM spokesman David Barnas said. Production already was likely going to halt on Monday because of the agreement made between the UAW and Detroit's three automakers to suspend production until March 30.

Fiat Chrysler previously had confirmed cases at its Sterling Heights Assembly Plant, at its Kokomo Transmission Plant in Indiana and potentially in a subcontractor at the construction site of its new assembly plant in Detroit. General Motors Co. has had positive cases at its Flint Truck Plant as well as its technology center in Warren. Ford Motor Co. confirmed a case at its product development campus in Dearborn.

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Discussion Starter #67
FCA: Belvidere Chrysler plant to remain closed until May 4





By WIFR Newsroom |

Posted: Mon 2:48 PM, Apr 06, 2020



BELVIDERE, Ill. (WIFR) -- FCA announced Monday that they plan to restart its U.S. and Canadian manufacturing facilities beginning May 4.

FCA says they're working with government officials and their unions to implement new procedures to certify the daily wellness of the workforce while also redesigning work stations to maintain proper social distancing and expanding the already extensive cleaning protocols at all locations.

Officials say will only restart operations with safe, secure and sanitized workplaces to protect all of their employees.

 

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Discussion Starter #68
Canada, US plants on 4 May

Published date: 06 April 2020



US automaker Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) is planning to begin restarting its auto manufacturing plants in Canada and the US beginning on 4 May.

The automaker — one of the US-based "Big 3" along with Ford and General Motors (GM) — has had its North American plants shut down since mid-March.
 

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Discussion Starter #69
FCA's restart plans take shape


DETROIT -- Fiat Chrysler Automobiles' plan to resume North America production begins with its Mexico van plant on April 20 before a progressive restart of U.S. and Canadian facilities on May 4 and May 18, the company told suppliers during a webinar on Wednesday.


The automaker also said several key products would be delayed as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, including the Jeep Grand Wagoneer and next-generation Grand Cherokee. The automaker estimates that each of those models, expected to arrive in 2021, will face three-month delays.


Fiat Chrysler's U.S. operations have struggled significantly with the coronavirus pandemic -- at least 15 hourly workers who have been linked to the disease have died, according to the UAW. In Canada, in March, Unifor members walked off the job at the automaker's Windsor Assembly Plant in Windsor, Ont., after they learned a fellow hourly worker was self-isolating as a precaution.


Company executives said plants will begin with one-shift patterns. Marlo Vitous, FCA's head of North America supply chain planning and global inter-regional flow, said during the supplier presentation that the company will only restart operations with "safe, secure and sanitized" workplaces that "protect all of our employees and you."


Ram Promaster production in Saltillo, Mexico, is slated to begin on Monday. Output at the Saltillo Truck Assembly plant that builds the Ram 1500 Classic and heavy duty models could follow on April 27.

In the United States, the estimated return date for its Detroit area plants is May 4. The resumption of Wrangler production at the Toledo North site in Ohio is also being targeted for May 4. FCA's Brampton car plant in Canada that assembles the Dodge Challenger, Charger and Chrysler 300 is scheduled to restart on May 4 as well.


FCA's progressive return would continue on May 18 for its Jeep Cherokee plant in Belvidere, Ill.; the Toledo South plant that produces the Jeep Gladiator; the Toluca, Mexico, factory that assembles the Dodge Journey and Jeep Compass; and the Windsor minivan plant in Canada.


Vitous said the launch cadence for the company's powertrain and stamping plants that support the assembly operations is still being determined.


"As I tell my team, we're all in this together," Vitous told suppliers. "We need your increased support now. You will have ours."

 

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Discussion Starter #70
Belvidere Chrysler plant scheduled to reopen on June 1



May 06, 2020



BELVIDERE, Ill. (WIFR) -- In a statement from FCA, the Chrysler assembly plant in Belvidere is scheduled to reopen on June 1. This comes after the plant has been closed for weeks during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Jodi Tinson of the FCA Group says, "This plan has been developed following continuous discussions with the unions – the UAW, Unifor and Section 23 CTM – as well as local governments. The status of production at FCA’s Mexico plants will be the subject of a separate announcement."

Tinson says multiple safety measures will be put into place once the plant reopens.

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, the Chrysler plant had a few periods of layoffs and closures due to lower demand of the vehicles manufactured at the plant.

 

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Discussion Starter #71
UAW gives its approval to Fiat Chrysler to reopen North American plants

May 6, 2020


The United Auto Workers, the union that represents U.S. hourly workers at Detroit automakers, has given its tacit approval on Tuesday for the automakers to resume production amid the coronavirus pandemic, after Fiat Chrysler stated it expected to resume its North American plants on May 18.

The United Auto Workers union has been negotiating with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), General Motors and Ford Motor regarding how and when they should resume U.S. production after widespread lockdowns aimed at reducing the spread of the coronavirus.

“We continue to advocate for as much testing (for the disease) as possible at the current time and ultimately full-testing when available,” UAW President Rory Gamble stated. “As for the start date, the companies contractually make that decision and we all knew this day would come.”

FCA stated as it reported its first-quarter results that it expected to resume its North American operations on May 18.

GM and Ford have not declared restart dates, but the Detroit companies have said before that they want to resume production so that they can start bringing in much-needed cash.

U.S. automotive production came to a halt in March following the increase in Covid-19 coronavirus cases. Since then, several U.S. states have decided to reopen their economies, the focus in the auto sector has shifted to when production it can resume without any issues.

 

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Discussion Starter #72
FCA COO Tours Plants for Return to Work


May 12, 2020

Mark Stewart, Chief Operating Officer, FCA - North America, tours manufacturing plants as a part of FCA's return to work efforts. As Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) prepares to resume its North American manufacturing operations, the Company has developed and is implementing a comprehensive program of enhanced safety measures to protect employees, their families and the surrounding communities from the spread and transmission of COVID-19 when the plants reopen.
 

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Discussion Starter #73
FCA Facts and Figures: Return to Work


United States: 11,700
Canada: 3,400
Total manufacturing employees week of May 18, 2020: 15,100
FCA North American Manufacturing
Restart DatePlant*Location
May 18, 2020Jefferson North Assembly PlantDetroit, Michigan
Sterling Heights Assembly PlantSterling Heights, Michigan
Sterling Stamping PlantSterling Heights, Michigan
Toledo Assembly ComplexToledo, Ohio
Toledo Machining PlantToledo, Ohio
Trenton Engine ComplexTrenton, Michigan
Warren Stamping PlantWarren, Michigan
Warren Truck Assembly PlantWarren, Michigan
May 19, 2020Brampton Assembly PlantBrampton, Ontario
Windsor Assembly PlantWindsor, Ontario
May 26, 2020Dundee Engine PlantDundee, Michigan
Indiana Transmission Plant 1Kokomo, Indiana
Kokomo Casting PlantKokomo, Indiana
Kokomo Transmission PlantKokomo, Indiana
Tipton Transmission PlantTipton, Indiana
June 1, 2020Belvidere Assembly PlantBelvidere, Illinois
Etobicoke Casting PlantToronto, Ontario
Subject to government approval for the auto industry, FCA Mexico operations are planning for a May 18 restart:
Saltillo Engine PlantRamos Arizpe, Coahuila, Mexico
Saltillo South Engine PlantSaltillo, Coahuila, Mexico
Saltillo Stamping PlantSaltillo, Coahuila, Mexico
Saltillo Truck Assembly PlantSaltillo, Coahuila, Mexico
Saltillo Van Assembly PlantSaltillo, Coahuila, Mexico
Toluca Assembly PlantToluca, Mexico
Toluca Stamping PlantToluca, Mexico

*Assembly plants coming back on one shift
Construction at Mack and Warren Truck scheduled to resume week of May 18.

Testing
Any hourly or salaried FCA employee in the metro Detroit area exhibiting symptoms before or during their shift will be referred for COVID-19 PCR testing through one of five major Beaumont Health testing centers designated for FCA employees. FCA is targeting same day appointments and expecting results to be available in 24 hours or less. Similar testing arrangements have been made for out of state employees through Ascension St. Vincent in Kokomo, Ind., Swedish American Hospital in Belvidere, Ill., and Promedica Hospital in Toledo, Ohio. FCA will send employees who are tested home until they are medically cleared to return to work. Employees will get paid during a 14-day quarantine ordered by a doctor. FCA employees also will receive face masks, safety glasses, and gloves, if needed, each day at the start of shift.

Safety Protocols:
  • Completion of Daily Health Risk Assessment, including temperature check and self-screening questionnaire, for both employees and visitors
  • Thermal imaging cameras to verify temperatures of everyone entering an FCA facility
  • Masks and safety glasses required personal protection equipment for everyone in all facilities
  • Staggered start times and added time to breaks and lunch to minimize large gatherings
  • 10 minutes dedicated to cleaning and disinfecting workstations at the start of each shift
  • Enhanced cleaning and disinfecting schedules developed for common and high traffic areas, including turnstiles, restrooms, cafeterias, locker rooms and conference rooms
 

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Discussion Starter #74
FCA Statement on Restart of U.S. Manufacturing Facilities


May 18, 2020 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - After welcoming back nearly 12,000 employees to our U.S. manufacturing facilities today, we successfully resumed production of our award-winning vehicles under a comprehensive, multi-layered program of health and safety measures designed with the single purpose of safeguarding employees.

We were pleased with today’s restart. Everyone followed the new protocols and our plants were fully staffed to start production. We expected nothing less from FCA's incredible employees. We are very confident that we have all the right protection measures in place to keep them all safe.

We also want to thank our dedicated team of employees whose leadership and ingenuity helped prepare our facilities for today’s successful restart.
 

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Discussion Starter #75
FCA North American Plant Restart Schedule


Full-time FCA employees at work - week of June 1, 2020:

U.S.: 85% (28,310 of 33,350)
Canada: 99% (7,785 of 7,890)
Mexico: 88% (12,050 of 13,700)
TOTAL: 88% (48,145 of 54,940)
Plant/Shift PatternMay 18May 19May 25May 26June 1June 8June 15
Jefferson North Assembly Plant (3-2-120)1 23 crews
Sterling Heights Assembly Plant (3-2-120)1 23 crews
Toledo Assembly Complex (2 shifts)1 2
Warren Truck Assembly Plant (2 shifts)1 2
Belvidere Assembly Plant (2 shifts) 1 2
Brampton Assembly Plant (2 shifts) 12
Windsor Assembly Plant (3 shifts) 1 23
Saltillo Truck Assembly Plant (3 shifts) 1 23
Saltillo Van Assembly Plant (2 shifts) 1 2
Toluca Assembly Plant (2 shifts) 1 2
 

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Discussion Starter #76
FCA says almost 90% of North American hourly workforce back on job

June 2, 2020


Fiat Chrysler Automobiles says almost 90% of its hourly workers in North America are back on the job this week.

The automaker released a breakdown this week of the return to work following the lengthy manufacturing shutdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The company said 48,145 of 54,940 hourly workers, or 88%, have returned to work in the United States, Canada and Mexico.

Canada, which has the fewest hourly workers, leads for the percentage of workers back at FCA's facilities with 99%, followed by Mexico at 88% and the United States, which has the most hourly workers, at 85%.

No comparable total was available for the company's salaried workers, most of whom are working from home if they are able, according to spokeswoman Jodi Tinson.

"We have been very pleased with the restart of our production operations across North America. Our teams worked tirelessly to create an environment that can keep everyone safe, our employees have done their part by following the new protocols and our suppliers have worked hard to support our plans. Because of this collective effort, most of our North American assembly plants are resuming full production this week," Tinson said.

Next week, the Saltillo Truck and Toluca assembly plants in Mexico, which produce various Ram pickups, the Dodge Journey and Jeep Compass, are scheduled to have their remaining shifts return, and the following week, the last FCA shift to return, at Belvidere Assembly in Illinois, is to be back for production of the Jeep Cherokee. Belvidere's first shift returned this week.


FCA, Ford and General Motors began bringing U.S. workers back on May 18, although Ford has had a few temporary plant shutdowns since then. The resumption of operations in Mexico, a crucial piece in the integrated automotive supply chain, took longer, but as of Monday with the reopening of Ford's plants, all three were back in operation there, at varying levels of production.


 

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Discussion Starter #77
Demand spurs most Fiat Chrysler plants to skip summer shutdown

June 17, 2020


Most of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV's plants in North America will not shut down for a week or two this summer after idling for two months earlier this year because of the novel coronavirus outbreak.

The plants, which include Jefferson North Assembly in Detroit and Sterling Heights Assembly, will continue to run "in order to meet strong consumer demand," company spokeswoman Jodi Tinson said. The downtime usually offers the company the opportunity to retool the plant for the next model year, but many automakers are taking the time to catch up on production.

Jefferson North makes the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango SUVs, and Sterling Heights produces the Ram 1500 pickup. The Jeep assembly complex in Toledo; car plant in Brampton, Ontario; and van and truck plants in Saltillo, Mexico, also will continue to operate.

Warren Truck, which builds the older model Ram Classic pickup, will go down the week of June 29 and stay closed through the end of September. The facility is undergoing a $1.5 billion renovation that includes a new paint shop to manufacture the reborn Jeep Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer SUVs.

Belvidere Assembly in Illinois making the Jeep Cherokee SUV will be down the week of Aug. 17. The Chrysler minivan plant in Ontario will be down the weeks of July 20 and 27. Toluca Assembly in Mexico, which makes the Jeep Compass and other crossovers, will begin a four-week model changeover on July 6.

Powertrain, stamping and component plants will align their work patterns to support the assembly production.

 

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Fiat Warns Workers Won’t Be Paid If They Halt Assembly Lines


July 2, 2020


Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV issued a stern warning to employees after workers at two of its U.S. plants stopped production last week over concern management wasn’t properly handling coronavirus risks.



“Unauthorized work stoppages in our facilities create both disruption, and, potentially, safety concerns, and therefore cannot be tolerated,” Mike Resha, Fiat Chrysler’s head of North American manufacturing, wrote in a June 28 letter. Employees found to have instigated unapproved shutdowns will face disciplinary action, and stoppages “will result in zero pay,” he wrote.




Fiat Chrysler’s threat following production pauses at key Jeep and Ram pickup factories shows tensions are still simmering at Detroit automakers, six weeks after they called workers back to the assembly line. While the companies are eager to restore pre-lockdown production to restock dealerships seeing recovering demand, employees are concerned about exposing themselves to Covid-19 in workplaces where social distancing can be difficult.




A representative for Fiat Chrysler declined to comment on the letter. The company agreed to tighten health screening procedures for workers entering plants and dispatch cleaners to work areas within 15 minutes of being notified, Resha wrote. He also warned any employee who is untruthful in health-screening questionnaires that staff are required to fill out before entering facilities will be fired.



Production Pauses
Last week, employees at Fiat Chrysler’s Jefferson North plant in Detroit briefly refused to work because they believed one of their co-workers had the virus. The worker later tested negative. On June 27, staff at Fiat Chrysler’s truck plant in Sterling Heights, Michigan, halted production out of concern their stations had not been properly sanitized after a worker was sent home to be tested.




The United Auto Workers is pushing for companies to enhance health and safety protocols and address concerns of its members, Brian Rothenberg, a spokesman for the union, said after last week’s incidents.

Last month, workers at Ford Motor Co. factories in Michigan and Missouri questioned the automaker’s safety protocols after multiple workers tested positive for Covid-19. The UAW local at General Motors Co.’s SUV plant in Arlington, Texas, also pushed for the automaker to temporarily close the facility, citing the spike in Covid-19 cases in the area.

Ford has said it has stuck to health and safety measures detailed in a return-to-work playbook the company crafted along with the UAW. GM said Tuesday it hadn’t made any changes to production schedules at Arlington because it has protocols in place to protect workers.

 

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Conner Street to get $4M in roadwork ahead of FCA Mack plant opening

July 7, 2020


A key thoroughfare near Fiat Chrysler Automobiles' new assembly plant on the east side of Detroit is slated to get millions of dollars in roadwork in the coming months.

The City of Detroit is being awarded a more than $2.8 million state grant toward the estimated $3.9 million road project on Conner Street, which is near both the Jefferson North Assembly Plant and FCA's new Mack plant on the site of a former engine plant complex. The city is to provide about $1.1 million.

FCA's Mack plant, the first new assembly plant in the city in three decades, along with improvements at Jefferson North, are supposed to create almost 5,000 jobs for Jeep and Dodge SUV production. The project gives an early hire window for Detroit residents, and the process of getting residents into the pipeline is expected to restart over the next several weeks following delays associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. Construction on Mack is be completed later this year.

The specific grant for the roadwork, the state's Targeted Industries Program grant, provides road improvement funding tied to job creation and investment.

"Transportation investments support economic opportunity. As a state, we must invest more in our roads so that employees have safe routes to work and companies have unimpeded access to markets," Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said in a news release.

The work on Conner is needed, officials said, because of the condition of the roadway and because once the work is completed on the assembly plants, traffic volumes will increase. Average daily traffic is expected to rise from 21,395 vehicles to 30,155, with commercial vehicles moving from just over 9% to almost 15% of the volume, according to the city.

"To increase road capacity, lanes will be added through a combination of lane reconfiguration and widening for portions of the route," the Michigan Department of Transportation noted.

In addition, bike lanes will be moved to one side of the street.

Currently, the street has two lanes for motor vehicle traffic in each direction with a center turn lane.

The work is to happen on Conner from Jefferson to Shoemaker and will include resurfacing the road with asphalt and restriping it. Bike lanes, which currently run with traffic in both directions, are to be moved from the west side of Conner, which is nearest the plants, to the opposite side as two-way bike lanes. In addition, the city is planning to raise the elevation of some bus stops along the route to improve boarding.

Oladayo Akinyemi, deputy director of the Detroit Department of Public Works, said the bike lane change would limit conflict between cyclists and the increased truck traffic near the plants. He said the approximately 2-mile stretch of improvements would be noticeable for drivers when completed.

"We're going to have a better, smoother surface that will last us a while," he said. "It's going to make a big difference for people who drive that area. ... What we hope to achieve is a longtime fix, especially with the increased traffic” and the investment in that area.

Right now, there's a mixture of concrete and asphalt and the concrete is not in the best of shape despite some repairs in the last couple of years, Akinyemi said.

The project is expected to be put out for bid in the next few weeks, with work slated to start in mid- to late-September for completion by Thanksgiving, Akinyemi said.

The road is to remain open in both directions during construction, although travel lanes are to shift during the project.

 

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CAR FACTORY : JEEP GLADIATOR & WRANGLER Production l Toledo Assembly Complex [2019]


Jul 13, 2020

CAR FACTORY : JEEP GLADIATOR & WRANGLER Production l Toledo Assembly Complex [2019].The Toledo Complex is an automobile factory in Toledo, Ohio. Now owned by Fiat Chrysler, sections of the facility have operated as an automobile assembly plant since 1910, originally for Willys-Overland vehicles. The Toledo complex has assembled Jeeps since the 1940s, and comprises two factories: Toledo North and Toledo South, which itself includes the Stickney Plant and the Parkway Annex. FCA announces that the Toledo Machining Plant will assemble the power electronics module and components for the Jeep Wrangler Plug-in Hybrid which will be launching in 2020. Toledo Assembly Complex 4400 Chrysler Drive, Toledo, Ohio, United States Floor Space: 3.64 million square feet Acreage: 312 acres Products: Toledo Supplier Park (South plant) - Jeep® Gladiator; Toledo North - Jeep Wrangler Employment: 6,759 (6,474 hourly; 285 salaried) on two shifts Robotics: 616 Union Local: UAW Local 12 Plant History: The Stickney Plant was built in 1942 and acquired from Autolite in 1964 for use as a machining and engine plant. In 1981, it was converted for vehicle production, building the Jeep Grand Wagoneer until the summer of 1991. The facility became the Toledo Assembly Plant when Chrysler Corporation acquired American Motors Corporation (AMC) in August 1987. In the fall of 1997, Toledo North Assembly Plant was built for the production of the Jeep Liberty, which launched in April 2001. The 2007 Dodge Nitro launched in August 2006 and the 2008 Jeep Liberty launched in July 2007. The last Dodge Nitro rolled off the line on Friday, Dec. 16, 2011. Production of the Jeep Liberty ended on Aug. 16, 2012. The all-new 2014 Jeep Cherokee began production on June 24, 2013. In November 2011, the Company announced that it would invest $500 million in the Toledo North Plant. A 260,000-square-foot expansion was added to the existing body shop and upgrades were made to all other areas of the assembly plant. In addition, a state-of-the-art, 26,000-square-foot Metrology Center was built to help improve vehicle quality by verifying key measurements to ensure accurate fit and finish. The Company also announced that it would add a second shift of production or about 1,100 jobs at Toledo North in the third quarter of 2013. The second shift began on Aug. 19, 2013. The Toledo Supplier Park was built in 2005 for the production of the Jeep Wrangler and Wrangler Unlimited. The complex includes body and chassis operations in partnership with Kuka and OMMC, respectively, in buildings on the same site as Toledo North Assembly and the former Stickney Assembly. The paint shop was originally run in partnership with Magna, but in the first quarter of 2011, the Company assumed responsibility for paint operations. Production of the 2011 Jeep Wrangler began in August 2010. The last Wrangler JK rolled off the line on April 27, 2018, after building 2,165,678 of the iconic Jeep model. FCA US announced on July 14, 2016, that it would invest $700 million in Toledo's North plant to produce the next generation Jeep Wrangler. Approximately 700 new jobs will be added. To make room for the new Wrangler, production of the Jeep Cherokee ended on April 6, 2017. Since its introduction in 2013, 949,151 Cherokees rolled off the Toledo assembly line. Production of the 2018 Jeep Wrangler began in December 2017. On Jan. 8, 2017, the Company confirmed that it would invest another $1 billion to retool and modernize Toledo's South plant to build an all-new Jeep pickup truck (introduced in November 2018 as the Jeep Gladiator) as well as the Warren Truck Assembly Plant to produce the all-new Jeep Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer. It was later confirmed as part of a February 2019 announcement that the Company invested $273 million in the south plant. The Jeep Gladiator began shipping to dealers on April 12, 2019.
 
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