STERLING HEIGHTS (WWJ) – Fiat-Chrysler is making a major investment in Macomb County.
The automaker announced Monday it’s spending $1.48 billion to retool its Sterling Heights Assembly Plant build the next generation Ram 1500 pickup and support the future growth of the Ram brand.
The company also confirmed in a media release that production of the Chrysler 200 in Sterling Heights will end in December 2016 in order to begin the transformation of the plant.
WWJ Auto Analyst John McElroy said this move by Fiat-Chrysler is symptomatic of a larger shift in the industry.
“FCA needs more pickups and more Jeeps,” explained WWJ Auto Analyst John McElroy. “And the fact that they’re moving passenger cars out of Sterling Heights and moving Ram pickups into that plant really shows what’s going on in the automotive industry right now.”
“The whole market is switching over to trucks, SUVs and crossovers; and the fact that FCA is putting one-and-a-half billion dollars into that plant to retool it shows just how significant this market shift is.”
The automaker says future plans for the Warren Truck Assembly Plant that currently builds the Ram 1500 will be announced at a later date.
But McElroy said he expects good news on that front, too.
Since 2009, FCA US has announced investments of more than $8.3 billion and added more than 25,000 (including nearly 18,000 hourly) people in its U.S. operations.
No new jobs in connection with these most recent changes have been announced.