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Discussion Starter · #141 ·
Stellantis Announces $99 Million Total Investment for New Engine Production at Three North American Plants
  • Company to produce new four-cylinder turbo engine
  • Investments will be made at Dundee (Michigan) Engine, Kokomo (Indiana) Casting and Etobicoke (Toronto) Casting
  • New engine designated for HEV applications for future North American models
  • Investment supports company’s Dare Forward 2030 long-term strategy

August 1, 2022 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - Stellantis announced today that it will invest a total of $99 million in three North American plants for production of a new four-cylinder turbocharged engine. Investments will be made at the Dundee Engine Complex in Michigan, the Kokomo Casting Plant in Indiana and the Etobicoke Casting Plant in Toronto.

The new engine is a 1.6-liter, I-4 turbocharged unit with direct fuel injection and flexibility for hybrid-electric vehicle (HEV) applications. Based on a current Stellantis production engine in Europe, this next-generation engine will power two future North American HEV models. This will be the first HEV engine for the company in the region. Production is expected to begin in early 2025.

With an investment of nearly $83 million, Dundee Engine will be retooled and become the final assembly location for the new engine. The Michigan plant will continue production of the 3.6-liter Pentastar Upgrade for the Jeep® Grand Cherokee and Jeep Grand Cherokee L. The Tigershark 2.4-liter I-4 engine will build out in the first quarter of 2023.

Engine blocks will be cast at the Kokomo Casting Plant, one of the largest facilities of its kind in the world. More than $14 million will be invested to convert existing die cast machines and cells for the new engine.

Etobicoke Casting will produce the oil pan for the new engine. The company will invest nearly $2 million to support the development and installation of new tooling and equipment upgrades.

These investments support Stellantis’ Dare Forward 2030 strategic plan of delivering innovative, clean, safe and affordable mobility solutions.

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Discussion Starter · #142 ·
Hunger for factory jobs ties Indiana to bygone reality

  • Michael J. Hicks
  • Aug 12, 2022

Automotive design Cooking Engineering Gas Machine

Work in factories such as the Chrysler transmission plant that employed Dave Roop, has been the backbone of Indiana’s economy. But no longer.

I’ve been living in Rust Belt towns in West Virginia, Ohio and Indiana for more than two decades. One shocking thing I continue to hear is the belief that something will cause an increase in factory jobs.

Whether this fantasy is heard on the national stage or in cities and towns, I remain stunned by the ignorance that otherwise-intelligent people have about manufacturing in the United States.

One trick I have to show how misinformed folks are about factory employment is simply to ask, “When was peak manufacturing production in the USA?” The answers range from 1942 to the 1970s.

The correct answer is 2021.

That’s right, the inflation-adjusted peak year of manufacturing production in the USA was 2021. That shouldn’t be too shocking to folks, but apparently it is.

I then ask, “When was peak manufacturing employment in the USA?” The answer there is 1979, which seems not to shock too many people.

Here in Indiana, the answers are 2021 and 1973, respectively. So what’s been going on, and why do so many folks believe that salvation in the form of factory jobs is right around the corner?

The facts about manufacturing are pretty simple. As a share of employment, manufacturing has been in a steady decline since the end of World War II. However, the share of manufacturing GDP has been almost constant for 75 years.

The primary reason is simply that we are very good at making things. So, we continue to get manufacturing production peaks with fewer and fewer workers.

Of course, we aren’t alone in this. Manufacturing employment is down worldwide. Peak factory employment in Germany occurred in 1970. In Taiwan, it peaked in 1988, and insofar as you can believe any of its public data, factory jobs peaked in China 15 years ago.

Most manufactured goods can be produced anywhere and shipped very cheaply. The cost per ton-mile of transporting goods is a fraction of what it was in 1950.

One result of this is that international trade could also contribute to the loss of manufacturing production in some nations. One rule of thumb is that businesses have a simple choice: become more productive so you can cut jobs or lose your business to less expensive imports.

Either way, some jobs disappear.

This normal economic transformation is nothing new, and nothing to be afraid of. We went through it in farming a century ago, and did just fine.

One reason we did well is that farmers who lost jobs to the productivity gains of tractors and steam threshers went to work in factories. Today’s displaced factory workers don’t fare as well. The prime reason is simply that the education and skills these workers possessed didn’t match the many available jobs nationwide.

The local effect of manufacturing job losses has been significant. Since 1979, the U.S. has lost about 7.5 million factory jobs. We’ve also created more than 60 million other types of jobs.

Indiana’s experience was worse. We lost about the same share of factory jobs, dropping from 760,000 in 1973 to 546,000 today. However, we gained only about 700,000 new jobs of other types, a gain of roughly 40%. Over the same time, the U.S. doubled employment.

There are many causes of the slow job growth and somnolent Hoosier economy. One factor is the continued pursuit of factory jobs.

Hoosier policymakers pay lip service to quality of life and educational attainment. Still, when it comes to budgets, Indiana and most of its cities and counties remain fixated on returning factory jobs to the region. That has been, and continues to be, a costly diversion of resources.

In terms of economic development spending and focus, it is nearly all about manufacturing. As an aside, there is some interest in logistics to move those factory goods, but in both policy and spending, Indiana remains focused on manufacturing.

Our workforce development system, which spends $1 billion each year on training, is primarily focused on filling factory jobs. This seems odd because wages for new factory workers have been in steady decline in Indiana for more than two decades. And, as I write this, the most heavily advertised manufacturing occupation in Indiana pays just $17 on average.

Much of our K-12 educational system leans heavily toward manufacturing. Among the list of community and technical courses listed by the state, there are 51 for manufacturing, 46 for health and 35 for transportation.

As a reminder, we haven’t yet recovered the factory jobs lost during the COVID-19 pandemic, and Indiana will almost certainly have fewer manufacturing workers in 2030 than we have today. We’ll need a lot more health care workers, so from this simple analysis, we are badly off balance.

Across Indiana, counties and cities continue to build speculative industrial sites. These “spec” buildings dot Indiana’s landscape, holding hostage hundreds of millions of public dollars that could be spent elsewhere. These facilities are designed only to appeal to manufacturing, while other sectors that are expanding and creating jobs are left to their own devices to find space.

Nowhere are these favored practices more apparent than in our tax system. On paper, Indiana levies a 3% property tax on business investment and a 4.9% corporate tax rate. That would imply a pretty stiff tax rate for manufacturing, which is rich in capital equipment and land.

In reality, tax subsidies or abatements for manufacturing are so high that no taxpaying industry in the state bears a lower burden.

According to federal data, the average business in Indiana pays a total tax burden of 7.2% of its production, while Indiana’s manufacturing firms pay less than 2.3%. To put this in context, almost no Hoosier household pays a smaller share of its earnings in taxes than does the manufacturing industry. The average factory job in Indiana is subsidized to the tune of $10,850 per year. That’s more than the state pays to educate a schoolchild.

No one can doubt the importance of manufacturing, or that it will always be an important and large part of the national and state economy. But, manufacturing will never again be a source of net job growth in Indiana. Since the turn of the century, Indiana has created 300,000 non-factory jobs while losing 127,000 factory jobs.

It is simply time that we treat this economic sector like any other, and focus our attention on the education of the future, not the past.


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Discussion Starter · #143 ·
Artist Reveals Design for Detroit Mural

    • Dr. Hubert Massey’s design will feature history of community, highlight diversity
    • Artist gathered design ideas from community members
    • Mural outside Stellantis’ Mack Assembly Plant will be one of the largest art installations in the region once complete
Rectangle Wood Art Tints and shades Font

August 19, 2022 , Detroit - After gathering ideas from the community, Dr. Hubert Massey revealed his design for a mural on the sound barrier outside the Stellantis Detroit Assembly Complex - Mack plant during a virtual meeting with residents on Thursday, Aug. 18.

The renowned fresco artist and Detroit resident brings the culture and history of the area to life in what will be one of the largest murals in the region. Different themed sections will create a historic timeline of the community, highlighting its strengths and diversity.

"What ties all this together is a band of the different cultures that live in the community,” Dr. Massey said. “These people love their community. They get involved, and they’re steadfast for their community."

Dr. Massey held an initial virtual community meeting on June 15 and met with residents to get their input and gather ideas on what was important to them for the design of the mural.

“There was just a wealth of information that I received,” Dr. Massey said. “I listened to what they had to say historically about their community, some of their aspirations as far as how they would like to see this mural represent their community.”

With the surface primed, Dr. Massey’s drawings will be transferred onto the southern section of the sound barrier, then painting is expected to begin after Labor Day. The northern section is expected to be completed next year.

The mural project is part of the Community Benefits Agreement (CBA) reached between Stellantis, the City of Detroit and the Neighborhood Advisory Committee, a partnership that provides more than $35 million to support neighborhood improvements, housing, workforce development, education and training programs, and environmental initiatives. In 2019, the company committed to investing $2.5 billion to build the first new assembly plant in Detroit in 30 years and upgrade its existing Jefferson plant, creating nearly 5,000 new jobs and putting Detroiters first in the application process.

Partnering with Dr. Massey and Stellantis on the project are Commercial Contracting Corporation (CCC) and PPG, which are providing equipment and supplies.

“The mural came to fruition because of long-standing partnerships with PPG and CCC who both committed time and resources, and share Stellantis’ vision to make the east side of Detroit standout amongst other great neighborhoods in the city,” said Ron Stallworth, external affairs lead for Wayne County, Stellantis - North America. “The mural was a request from the community, and will serve as a unifying landmark for residents on the east side, Stellantis and visitors to the area.”

“Commercial Contracting Corporation is proud of its history providing construction services to Stellantis and excited to be part of the campaign to demonstrate the influence and impact Detroit and Stellantis have had on each other,” said Stephen Fragnoli, president of Commercial Contracting Corporation. “We are excited to see Dr. Massey’s rendition in capturing the importance of the relationship between Stellantis, Detroit and the people of this great American city.”

“At PPG, our purpose is to protect and beautify the world through color and meaningful participation in the communities where we live and work through our Colorful Communities program,” said Ramzy R. Hazamy, PPG global account director, Automotive OEM Coatings. “PPG is delighted to be involved in this mural project with Stellantis, Dr. Massey and CCC.”

Commercial Contracting Corporation (CCC)
CCC, a Detroit-based business, has grown to become an Engineering News-Record Top 400 Contractor providing a wide range of construction services for industrial, commercial and institutional markets across North America. CCC’s commitment to quality Construction and Equipment Installation services has led to a stellar reputation resulting in repeat business.

Pittsburgh-based PPG, a Fortune 500 paints and coatings company, engages in community efforts such as the Detroit mural project through its Colorful Communities program. The Colorful Communities program, PPG’s signature initiative for supporting communities, aims to protect and beautify the neighborhoods where PPG operates around the world. Through the Colorful Communities program, PPG’s committed volunteers contribute their time and PPG paint products to help transform community assets – from painting classrooms, to bringing color to a maternity ward and redesigning a playground. Since 2015, PPG has completed nearly 400 Colorful Communities projects, impacting more than 7.4 million people in 42 countries.

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Discussion Starter · #144 ·
Workers at Stellantis plant in Kokomo go on strike

Sep 10, 2022

KOKOMO, Ind. — Union workers at the Stellantis casting plant in Kokomo are going on strike and demanding better work conditions.

On Saturday, UAW Local 1166 announced that members working Stellantis’s Kokomo casting plant are immediately going on strike with requests for a “safe and comfortable” workplace. Among the group’s demands are for the company to repair and maintain all HVAC systems, address health and safety issues and provide clean uniforms.

“Stellantis claims it has no money to meet the basic needs of UAW Local 1166 members while, at the same time, it is making record profits and investing billions in a new battery plant across the street,” said UAW Vice President and Director of the Stellantis Department Cindy Estrada.

“This strike represents UAW Local 1166 members telling Stellantis enough is enough.”
UAW Vice President Cindy Estrada

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Discussion Starter · #145 ·
Stellantis casting plant workers in Indiana ratify local contract


Workers at a casting plant in Indiana owned by the maker of Jeep and Ram vehicles on Monday ratified a new local contract, according to the local union, securing demands around working conditions after an almost three-day strike.

The agreement between Stellantis NV and United Auto Workers Local 1166 in Kokomo Indiana, was reached late Sunday after workers went on strike early Saturday. The local updated its website on Monday evening, alerting members they had ratified the agreement. Details of the vote weren't immediately available.

UAW leaders earlier Monday championed the tentative agreement as obtaining key requests of the members. Since 2019, the local has been negotiating with the company, demanding that it install a new heating and air-conditioning system, pay for uniforms, repair equipment to secure work in-house, and address overtime language to protect departments and classifications.

“The environment in the plant has deteriorated over the years due to the company’s decision to save money by not properly maintaining or providing the proper HVAC in the plant,” UAW Vice President Cindy Estrada said in a statement. “The bargaining committee also fought hard to win dozens of demands that the members had submitted. This agreement will address these and many other issues that will benefit the Local 1166 members.”

Stellantis spokeswoman Jodi Tinson said in a statement that the company is pleased the agreement was ratified and that operations at the plant would resume Monday night. There was no impact to production at any other plants.

Kokomo Casting is the world’s largest die cast facility, according to Stellantis' website. The 625,000-square-foot plant produces aluminum parts for automotive components, transmissions and transaxle cases as well as engine block castings. It employs 142 salaried and 1,071 hourly employees. Both UAW Local 1166 and Local 1302 represent workers there.

Union activity, including strikes, has been on the rise nationally. The lack of enough workers to fill available jobs has empowered many employees to begin unionization campaigns and demand better wages and working conditions. National negotiations between the UAW and the Detroit Three automakers are set to begin next summer.

What electric vehicles, which have different and fewer parts than internal combustion engines vehicles, mean for their workers will be a key component of those discussions.

Stellantis in May announced with South Korean battery manufacturer Samsung SDI that their joint venture would construct a new $2.5 billion electric-vehicle battery plant in Kokomo, where Stellantis has several components plants. It is one of two battery plants Stellantis has announced in North America. The other is in Windsor, Ontario.

The casting plant itself last month was a part of a $99 million investment in three North American plants for production of a new 1.6-liter, I-4 turbocharged engine that can support gas-powered and hybrid-electric powertrains. More than $14 million of that will convert existing die cast machines and cells for production of the engine blocks at Kokomo Casting.

“The auto companies must know that our members will not be sacrificed with cost cutting efforts as they transition the auto industry,” UAW Region 2B Director Wayne Blanchard said in a statement. “The UAW membership has delivered quality products with their hard work and dedication while Stellantis has reaped record profits. Local 1166 members have shown that the membership of the UAW will push back when the company shows little regard for how their employees are treated.”


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Discussion Starter · #146 ·
Chrysler cuts shift at Michigan plant due to chip shortage

18th October 2022

DETROIT, Michigan: Chrysler-parent Stellantis said this week that due to the global semiconductor chips shortage, it is cutting one of three shifts at its Truck Assembly Plant in Warren, Michigan.

Stellantis has some 5,500 people working at the plant, which assembles the Jeep Wagoneer, Grand Wagoneer and Ram 1500 Classic.

Over the past two years, automakers have been forced to cut auto production because of an ongoing chip shortage.

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Discussion Starter · #147 ·
Supply-chain snags halt Chrysler Pacifica production
Breana Noble
The Detroit News

Supply-chain bottlenecks have halted production of Chrysler Pacifica minivans at Windsor Assembly Plant in Ontario.
Afternoon shift on Tuesday was cancelled followed by both shifts on Wednesday, according to social media posts by Local 444 of Unifor, the Canadian autoworkers union. It was unclear if the work stoppage resulted from low stocks of microchips or another part. It also was unclear how long the downtime could last at the Stellantis NV plant that employs more than 4,000 people on two shifts.
Windsor Assembly Plant produces the Chrysler Pacifica and Voyager minivans.

"Stellantis continues to work closely with our suppliers to mitigate the manufacturing impacts caused by the various supply chain issues facing our industry," company spokeswoman LouAnn Gosselin said in a statement. "As the situation continues to be very fluid, we are making production adjustments as necessary to minimize additional production impact."
Stellantis executives have shared that supply-chain snags, particularly resulting from the short global supply of semiconductors, is a daily challenge. CEO Carlos Tavares has said he doesn't expect significant improvement until the end of next year.

Chief Financial Officer Richard Palmer earlier this month on a financial results call said there had been "incremental improvement" in semiconductor supply, but that North America was facing more challenges in obtaining needed chips than other regions like Europe.

Last week, Germany's Infineon Technologies AG announced a non-binding memorandum of understanding with Stelllantis as a first step toward a multi-year supply agreement that could be worth more than $1.04 billion (1 billion euro) for silicon carbide semiconductors to the automaker's suppliers.

Windsor Assembly Plant has been one of the most severely impacted plants from the microchip shortage in North America with an estimated 144,410 vehicles not able to be produced since the issue emerged in 2021, according to AutoForecast Solutions LLC's Friday update. That includes more than 53,000 vehicles this year from more than 100 lost days.

Supply-chain snags halt Chrysler Pacifica production at Stellantis' Windsor plant (
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