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Discussion Starter #81
FCA Mack Update: Paint Shop


Sep 2, 2020


Our new 3 million-square-foot assembly plant in Detroit – where a new three-row, full-size @Jeep® SUV and next-generation Grand Cherokee along with their electrified models will be built – consists of three separate facilities: body shop, paint shop and general assembly. As we prepare the plant for launch in Q1 2021, let’s take a sneak peek inside the paint shop, where the vehicle will get its beautiful exterior finish. #FCA4Detroit
 

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Discussion Starter #82
Belvidere Fiat Chrysler plant brings home JD Power award
FCA management presented the Belvidere plant with the JD Power Bronze Award.

Published: Sep. 25, 2020 at 7:34 AM EDT|Updated: 6 hours ago
BELVIDERE, Ill. (WIFR) - It was an award winning day at the Belvidere assembly plants which included some top executives from Fiat Chrysler making a stop in Boone County.
FCA management presented the Belvidere workers with the JD Power Bronze Award. JD Power’s annual survey ranks the quality of all the plants. Belvidere ranked 2nd of 46 Bronze plants in the United States, third of 75 plants in North America and 11th out of 138 plants in the world.

 

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Discussion Starter #83
Detroiters Prepare to Join New Mack Assembly Team


October 14 2020

When we announced in February 2019 our plan to invest $2.5 billion in our Detroit facilities on the city’s east side, creating nearly 5,000 new jobs, we also made the unprecedented commitment to put Detroiters first, especially the neighbors who live around our plant.


We listened to the community when they said they wanted to be first in line for the new jobs and, together with Detroit at Work, developed a process that prioritizes Detroiters – veterans, returning residents and those who live closest to the plant.


Today, Benny Wilkinson is one of the more than 2,500 Detroiters who have accepted a job offer at the new Detroit Assembly Complex – Mack plant. As a production operator, he will support production of an all-new, three-row, full-size Jeep® SUV, the next-generation Jeep Grand Cherokee and their electrified models. Wilkinson is currently working at the Sterling Heights Assembly Plant building the Ram 1500 while he waits to be called to join the Mack team in the first quarter of 2021.


“I wanted to join FCA because of the opportunities, the experience and the diversity of the people,” Wilkinson said. “The new things you can learn and the possibility for growth at a place like FCA seem limitless.


“This job means security. I don’t see this being a job that will be a one and done, a couple months and out,” Wilkinson added. “I feel it is somewhere I can stay and somewhere that people want you to stay. Seems like everyone’s motivation is to get you to stay as long as you can. No one wants you to fail.”


Stay tuned for more profiles on the Detroiters who will help shape our next 100 years in the city.



NEW HIRE FACTS:


  • As of Oct. 5, we have received more than 16,000 prospective candidates from the City of Detroit and Detroit at Work.
  • In total, more than 4,100 interviews have been conducted, with 2,513 offers of employment extended. Only three individuals declined our offer of employment.
  • 60% of Detroiters who accepted a conditional offer of employment at Mack opted to kick-start their learning experience by first joining our Jefferson North, Sterling Heights or other Detroit area locations before moving to Mack.
    • The remaining individuals opted to wait until the Mack location launches in early 2021.
 

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Discussion Starter #84
New Monitoring Station Built to Measure Air Quality on Detroit’s East Side




We all need clean air, at home and at work, inside and outside of the places we live. But how do we truly know that the air we’re breathing is clean? That’s why we’ve installed a state-of-the-art, ambient air quality monitoring station at our new Mack Assembly Plant.


While we’re proud to say that our new Detroit assembly plant is one of our most efficient and sustainable manufacturing operations and that it will have the lowest achievable volatile organic compounds (VOC) emission rate of any auto assembly plant in the country, our neighbors expressed the need for more accurate data on the local air quality.


We listened, and it became clear that residents in the area around our new plant did not have access to robust air quality data. In fact, the nearest air monitoring station was nearly five miles away.


Not anymore. The new air quality monitoring station we’ve installed on the north end of our Detroit Assembly Complex – Mack will monitor nearby particulate matter 2.5 (PM2.5) and nitrogen oxides (NOx).


Starting in 2021, we will submit the collected data quarterly to the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE), which will provide the state and local residents with important air quality information that is currently not available from the existing air monitoring network.


For us, being part of the community means being a good neighbor. To learn more about our commitment to Detroit, visit www.fca4detroit.com.
 

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Discussion Starter #85
2021 Jeep® Wrangler 4xe Joins Toledo Assembly Family




December 11, 2020 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - FCA’s Toledo Assembly Complex this week launched production of the innovative 2021 Jeep® Wrangler 4xe plug-in hybrid. The most technologically advanced Wrangler ever delivers zero-emission open air driving on- and off-road, with up to 25 miles of electric-only range and nearly 400 miles of total range. Assembly of the Wrangler 4xe, including its 17 kilowatt-hour battery pack and 375-horsepower, 470 lb.-ft. of torque electrified powertrain with two electric motors, is integrated into the existing Wrangler assembly line and built on two shifts by more than 3,200 UAW-represented employees at the Toledo North plant in Ohio. The 2021 Jeep Wrangler 4xe arrives at dealer showrooms in early 2021. More information is available at www.jeep.com/wrangler-4xe.html.
 

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Discussion Starter #86
Fiat Chrysler proposes new $23M vehicle customization facility in Toledo

The legislation will be presented to Toledo City Council next week to authorize a purchase agreement of former Textileather and MedCorp properties for $1 with FCA.



December 18, 2020


TOLEDO, Ohio — A new agreement between the city of Toledo and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles could bring hundreds of jobs and a new 250,000 square foot facility to support Jeep production in the area.

Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz will present the legislation to Toledo City Council next week. The agreement would allow FCA to purchase a 40-acre plot of land formerly occupied by Textileather and MedCorp to develop the vehicle customization facility. The land would be sold for $1, as an incentive for FCA's proposed $23 million investment.



The vehicle customization facility would support Jeep Wrangler and Jeep Gladiator production at the nearby Toledo Assembly Complex. FCA estimates the new facility would be operated by 300+ people.

"We are very excited about the potential of 300 new jobs to our community. These are jobs are coming when we have an unemployment rate of 6.3 percent in our community," said Brandon Selhorst, commissioner of economic development. "These are good-paying jobs. They will have an annual payroll of around $12 million. So these are good-paying jobs around the time when we're recovering from the pandemic."

In exchange for the reduced sale price, the city will authorize a tax increment financing for the property before selling it. This economic development financing tool will generate property tax revenue to fund public improvements and will allow the city to recoup its $6.8 million investment into the prior acquisition, demolition and remediation of the Textileather and MedCorp properties.

“Several years ago, FCA was evaluating numerous scenarios of how to expand production to meet the rising global demand of the iconic Jeep Wrangler. There was uncertainty about the future of production of the Wrangler because of the limited ability to expand the largely landlocked Toledo Assembly Complex," said Kapszukiewicz in a media release announcing the proposal on Friday. "In an effort to retain the facility’s existing workforce and production of the Jeep Wrangler, which has only ever been manufactured in Toledo, the city proactively worked with its economic development partners, including JobsOhio, to redevelop the shuttered Textileather and MedCorp properties into a 40-acre site ready for development."



As part of the agreement, if FCA does not develop the property as intended within four years, the city will be allowed to buy the property back for $1.

WTOL reached out to FCA for comment following the announcement.

"The iconic Jeep brand has a special connection and history with Toledo and all of its residents. We appreciate the City Council’s consideration of this proposal and would like to thank the City of Toledo and the Mayor’s Office for all of their efforts. At this time, we have no further details to provide," said an FCA spokesperson.

 

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Discussion Starter #87
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Invests Nearly $700,000 to Re-imagine Detroit’s Eastside Communities
  • $400,000 contributed to the Impact Neighborhood Fund and $285,000 to Chandler Park Conservancy
  • 20,000 masks distributed to community leaders to help curb spread of COVID-19



December 21, 2020 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) today announced two financial contributions integral to the automaker’s ongoing commitment to improve the quality of life for the people and neighborhoods on Detroit’s east side. FCA is contributing $400,000 to the Impact Neighborhood Fund for improvement projects in the Chandler Park, West End and Riverbend neighborhoods, while a $285,000 contribution to the Chandler Park Conservancy will enable the nonprofit organization to start construction on Detroit’s first community-based environmental education plaza.

“FCA’s commitment to Detroit goes beyond our facilities,” said Ron Stallworth, External Affairs Lead for Wayne County, FCA. “Our collective futures will be defined by how we collaborate to transform our neighborhoods, and we are just getting started.”

The $400,000 contribution to the Impact Neighborhood Fund represents half of the $800,000 outlined in FCA’s Community Benefits Agreement with the City of Detroit. The second $400,000 will be contributed in 2021. While Invest Detroit will serve as the fiduciary, members of the community, together with the Detroit Planning & Development Department, will determine which revitalization projects receive funding.

“We all understand that a community that doesn’t invest in itself is a community in trouble,” said Jay Henderson, president of the Riverbend Association and president of the Detroit Police Department’s 5th Precinct Community Relations District Council, a community group comprised of neighborhood associations and block clubs in the 5th Precinct. “This kind of financial investment from FCA will help jump start needed projects. After years of economic neglect, this is the shot in the arm that we need.”

The $285,000 contribution was presented to Chandler Park Conservancy at the future site of the education plaza, located adjacent to the newly constructed marshland. The plaza will offer K-12 students an area to learn about green stormwater management, wildlife habitat and environmental stewardship.

“Together, with FCA, we’re helping address the inequities of park amenities between city and suburban parks,” said Alex Allen, III, president and CEO, Chandler Park Conservancy. “The project supports our triple bottom line, offering social, environmental and economic benefits to eastside residents. FCA is enabling us to complete our vision for this space.”

FCA also donated 20,000 face masks to the community leaders. It is part of the automaker’s ongoing efforts to ensure that Detroiters stay safe and play a role in slowing the spread of COVID-19.

FCA’s commitment to Detroit is reflected in its decision to make the largest investment in the city’s history – $2.5 billion – into the city’s east side. In addition to today’s announcement, FCA has already made other significant investments in Detroit’s east side, including:
  • $4 million to build an education-career pathway for students and residents with the creation of a Manufacturing Career Academy at Southeastern High School
  • $5.8 million in state funding to workforce development and training
  • $1.8 million for the home repair grant program
  • $1.4 million for various environmental projects throughout the east side
Detroit City Councilmember André Spivey, who represents this eastside district, said, “Eastside pride has motivated our community for generations. FCA’s presence and partnership reaffirms that our community matters and it’s a great place to live.”

More information on FCA’s community benefit plans can be found at fca4detroit.com.
 

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Discussion Starter #88
Pandemic Slows Reopening Of Fiat Chrysler Factory In Indiana
12/21/2020


KOKOMO, Ind. (AP) — Fiat Chrysler has pushed back the reopening of a shuttered Indiana factory until late 2021, blaming delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Company officials had announced in March a $400 million plan to convert a Kokomo transmission factory so that it could begin engine production within the first three months of 2021.
That reopening has been delayed until 2021’s last quarter, in part because of the company’s eight-week shutdown earlier this year, Fiat Chrysler spokeswoman Jodi Tinson told the Kokomo Tribune.
Older equipment has been removed from the factory and interior walls and offices torn down as part of the conversion project, Tinson said. Steel is being raised to add a 30,000-square-foot addition to provide more manufacturing space.
Fiat Chrysler said it plans to make the factory about 40 miles north of Indianapolis into the U.S. production site for the Global Medium Engine Turbo 4 for Jeep Wranglers and Cherokees, which is now built in Italy.
Officials said the project would retain about 1,000 jobs and add nearly 200, bringing the total Fiat Chrysler workforce at its Kokomo-area factories to more than 8,000.
Brad Clark, vice president and head of engine and transmission manufacturing for FCA North America, said in March the Kokomo plant had made nearly 4 million transmissions from 2003 to 2018, when the company began to shutter the facility. It sat idle for a few months before the conversion work started.

 

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Discussion Starter #89
Detroit Plant to Start Making New Jeep by March
Fiat Chrysler unveiled the Grand Cherokee L on Thursday.

Jan 7th, 2021



DETROIT (AP) — A revamped version of the Jeep Grand Cherokee SUV with three rows of seats will roll off the assembly line this spring at a restored Detroit factory complex.

Fiat Chrysler unveiled the Grand Cherokee L on Thursday and said production would start by the end of March.

The company invested $1.6 billion to revamp two old engine plants so they could build new versions of the popular SUV. It hired 3,850 people to work at the company's first new auto plant in Detroit in nearly three decades.

The factory also will build two-row and what likely will be plug-in hybrid electric versions of the Grand Cherokee starting later this year at the former Mack engine plants, now called the Detroit Assembly complex.

Current versions of the Grand Cherokee are now being built at FCA's Jefferson North plant in Detroit. Once Detroit Assembly is up and running, Jefferson North will be converted to build the new versions, FCA said.

The new three-row version can seat seven people. It has all new underpinnings and a new suspension, a more spacious interior and a new body style with a lower tapered roof for better aerodynamics.

Gas mileage and price of the new SUVs were not announced Thursday.

Under a $108 million land development deal between Fiat Chrysler and the city, the automaker said it would give Detroit residents priority in applying for jobs at its new plant. Laid-off and temporary Fiat Chrysler workers got to apply first. Detroit residents then were considered before the jobs were opened up to others.

 

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Discussion Starter #90
Belvidere Chrysler assembly plant to temporarily close Monday
The assembly plant issued the notice of layoff.
FCA announced separation packages for employees at the Belvidere Assembly Plant.

FCA announced separation packages for employees at the Belvidere Assembly Plant.(WIFR)
By WIFR Newsroom
Published: Feb. 5, 2021

BELVIDERE, Ill. (WIFR) - The Belvidere Fiat Chrysler assembly plant will shut down all production operations starting Monday, Feb. 8 and end Sunday, Feb. 14.
The assembly plant issued the notice of layoff. Production employees are currently scheduled to return to work on Monday, Feb. 15. Union United Autoworkers Local 1268 made the announcement on Facebook Friday.



 

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Stellantis Chairman and CEO Visit Detroit Manufacturing Sites


February 10, 2021 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - Stellantis Chairman John Elkann and CEO Carlos Tavares toured the Detroit Assembly Complex – Mack and Jefferson plants to meet with employees and get a firsthand look at those operations on Feb. 9, 2021. This marks their first North American visit since the Stellantis merger was completed last month and is an important step in moving the new organization forward.

The Detroit visit offered Elkann and Tavares a look at how some of the most important vehicles Stellantis produces in North America are made, particularly the all-new Jeep® Grand Cherokee L model revealed at the beginning of this year.

During the visit, Jefferson and Mack team members showed Elkann, Tavares and other Stellantis leaders, including Head of Americas Mike Manley and North America COO Mark Stewart, the process improvements they have made to enhance product quality, save the company money and prepare employees to be successful in a manufacturing environment.

“There is nothing more important in a car company than its people, especially those who are passionate about what they’re doing and committed to making a better company and products,” Tavares told employees following the plant tours. “We created this company called Stellantis because we care about our employees and want to lead them to victory.”
 

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Discussion Starter #92
Stellantis, citing global demand, laying off 150 at Jeep Cherokee plant
02/23/2021

The Belvidere (Illinois) Assembly Plant, where the Jeep Cherokee SUV is made, is laying off 150 workers.

Stellantis, the parent company of Jeep since the merger of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Peugeot maker PSA Group, confirmed the news Tuesday.




"The Stellantis plant in Belvidere, Illinois, is rebalancing its staffing levels as it realigns production to meet global demand for the Jeep Cherokee. Following a review of its operations, 150 people will be indefinitely laid off, starting Feb. 20, 2021. The company will make every effort to place indefinitely laid off hourly employees in open full-time positions as they become available based on seniority," according to a company statement sent by spokeswoman Jodi Tinson.

Both a local union president and a UAW spokesman in Detroit have been asked for comment.

The Cherokee is the smaller of the two SUVs sporting the name. The larger Grand Cherokee is built in Detroit.

The Belvidere plant, which over the years has produced a range of Plymouth, Dodge, Chrysler and Jeep models, is about 60 miles west of Chicago. The plant is almost 5 million square feet on 280 acres. It was built in the 1960s and employs 3,580 workers on two shifts, according to the company's website.

It's not clear precisely how Cherokee sales have performed recently. The company, as Fiat Chrysler, had been releasing sales on a quarterly basis, and issued its last sales release in January.

Cherokee sales were off more than other Jeep models in 2020, which reflected the impact of the coronavirus pandemic throughout most of the year.

 

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Stellantis Idles Five North American Plants on Chip Shortage

March 26, 2021


Stellantis NV, the automaker formed from the merger of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV and PSA Group, said Friday it will temporarily close half its assembly plants in North America due to chip shortages.



Five plants -- two each in the U.S. and Canada and another in Mexico -- will shut down starting next week “through early to mid-April,” a Stellantis spokeswoman said in an email. The union local representing Windsor said Thursday the plant will be closed for an entire month starting March 29.


Those shutdowns mean Stellantis can’t produce Dodge muscle cars, two Jeep sport-utility vehicles, its Chrysler Pacifica minivan and an older, more affordable version of its Ram 1500 pickup.



The affected plants include a Jeep Cherokee SUV plant in Belvidere, Illinois, and a Ram Classic truck factory in Warren, Michigan, as well as Stellantis’ minivan-making operations in Windsor, Ontario, and sedan manufacturing facility in Brampton, Ontario, Canada. A Jeep Compass SUV plant in Toluca, Mexico, is also affected.


“Stellantis continues to work closely with our suppliers to mitigate the manufacturing impacts caused by the various supply chain issues facing our industry,” spokeswoman Jodi Tinson said in an emailed statement.

Protecting Profitable Models
The automaker has so far protected its most profitable vehicles from the chip shortage -- Jeep Wranglers made in Toledo, Ohio and pricier Ram 1500 models made in Sterling Heights, Michigan.


The closures come ahead of three critical product launches for Stellantis: Its remodeled Jeep Grand Cherokee SUV and new luxury Jeep Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer SUVs. The company has said production of a three-row Grand Cherokee is due to start by the end of this month at a new plant in Detroit. Output of the two Wagoneer models is set to begin at the Warren factory in May, according to Sam Fiorani, vice president at AutoForecast Solutions in Chester Springs, Pennsylvania.

Carmakers slashed chip orders when the pandemic hit last year, forcing them to idle plants for weeks to contain the virus. They were caught flat-footed when demand came roaring back more quickly than expected as semiconductor manufacturers had allocated more capacity to meet soaring demand from consumer-electronics product makers such as Apple Inc.

A Year of Poor Planning Led to Carmakers’ Massive Chip Shortage
The chip shortage is likely to persist well into the second quarter, said Steve Wybo, head of the auto practice group at consulting firm Conway Mackenzie in Detroit.
“It’s about a 24-week lead time to repurpose lines and pivot from making chips for TVs to chips to vehicles,” he said by phone. “That’s seven to eight months maybe, we’re three months into it. Simple math would suggest we’re going to have a bumpy second quarter.”
 
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