new FCA plant

Rendering (credit: City of Detroit)

Fiat Chrysler, Detroit Announce Land Deal For New Auto Plant

May 03, 2019 - 5:10 pm

DETROIT (WWJ) - Fiat Chrysler and city officials have announced a land deal expected to bring around 5,000 new jobs to Detroit. 

At a news conference Friday afternoon, FCA execs said they plan to make a $2.5 billion investment in the Motor City, marking the first time in nearly 30 years that a new assembly plant was built in Detroit. 

The city already completed deals with several major property owners in the footprint of the project, including DTE, the Great Lakes Water Authority and Hantz Farms. The key piece was a deal reached Thursday between the City and Crown Enterprises to secure the final 82 acres of land required for the project. 

While Detroit was once home to about a dozen massive auto production plants, a rash of closures over the years helped fuel crippling unemployment.

With that in mind, Mayor Mike Duggan said Detroit residents will have first dibs on available new "good-paying" jobs 

"UAW employees have first right to the jobs pursuant to their contract, that's the way it should be," Duggan explained. "But once the obligations are met to the union, the hiring starts with Detroiters first. There is going to be a one to two-week window period in which the Detroit at Work program will have identified Detroiters qualified for the jobs, and the Detroiters will be interviewed first." 

Auburn Hills-based FCA will rebuild, retool and reopen the shuttered Mack Avenue engine plant in the city. Around 3,850 new jobs are expected to be added at that facilty. In addition, FCA said it plans to add 1,100 more new jobs at its Jefferson North Assembly plant, which builds the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Durango. 

"The new plant will also add Grand Cherokee production so they can build more," WWJ AutoBeat Reporter Jeff Gilbert said. "They'll also build a bigger, more luxurious Jeep."

The total cost of the land deals comes to $107.6 million and includes approximately 155 acres of city and Detroit Land Bank Authority property.  Duggan said 50% of the financial commitment for the land deals will come from the city, with the other 50 percent coming from the state. (More details about the project, and how it will be funded HERE). 

The mayor thanked the many partners who came together over the past 60 days to help bring investment and jobs to Detroit. 

“This simply would not have been possible without the faith that FCA’s CEO Mike Manley placed in the people of Detroit, the tremendous support of the State, and the cooperation of the property owners who understood the rare opportunity this represents for our city and worked with us throughout this complicated process,” Duggan said.   

The project will now go to City Council for approval.

If OK'd, this would be the first new assembly plant to be built in Michigan in the past 13 years.  Only five new assembly plants have been built in the U.S. since 2011. 

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