Detroit will soon be the new home of Jeep as Fiat Chrysler announces its plan to spend $4.5 billion on Detroit’s first new assembly plant in nearly 30 years.
FCA plans to renovate the dilapidated Mack Avenue Engine Factory, along with another building on the same lot, and convert it into an assembly plant. This will be the new home of the Jeep Grand Cherokee as well as a large SUV in the company’s future.
The Mack Avenue Engine Factory, which has sat empty in the city’s southeast side since 2012, will now be the source of over 6,500 new jobs and provide a boost to the city’s growing economy.
In addition to renovating the old factory, FCA also plans to invest $900 million to upgrade its Jefferson North Assembly Plant. The money will help to retool and revolutionize the assembly plant as it produces the Dodge Durango. It will also expand its load by manufacturing the next-generation Jeep Grand Cherokee. This move will introduce 1,100 jobs to the assembly plant.
Jefferson North Assembly Plant was the last plant to be constructed in Detroit. Completing construction in 1991 and producing its first Grand Cherokee in 1992, the plant is the most recent one built within Detroit city limits.
FCA also has plans to bring its Warren Truck Assembly Plant up to date. The Motor City giant will spend $1.5 billion on the new Jeep Wagoneer in addition to the continued production of the Ram 1500 Classic. This upgrade to the Warren plant will introduce 1,400 new jobs.
FCA’s plan to open the city’s first new plant in 28 years comes just as General Motors announced they will cease all operation in the Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Plant by January 2020. With this closure, there will be more than 600 layoffs impacting the Detroit-Hamtramck plant.
Though plans for the renovation of the Mack Avenue Engine Factory are still in the works, construction is slated to begin later this year. The production of the first new vehicle could come as quickly as 2020. In addition to their standard Jeep models, all FCA Detroit plants will also manufacture plug-in hybrid versions of the Jeep models they produce.
FCA speculates the average wage for the new jobs to be about $58,000.