Fiat Chrysler to invest $1.48 bln in Sterling Heights plant

Posted on July 27, 2016

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV said on Tuesday it would invest $1.48 billion in its Sterling Heights plant in Michigan to retool it to build next-generation Ram pickup trucks.

The automaker confirmed that production of the Chrysler 200 midsized sedan would end in December in order to ready the plant to build the light duty Ram 1500 pickup.

Plans for the company’s Warren Truck Assembly plant in Michigan, which currently builds the Ram 1500, will be announced later, FCA said.

The next-generation Ram will go on sale by January 2018, Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne said in May.

FCA said in July it would invest more than $1 billion in its assembly plants in Illinois and Ohio to retool them to boost production of the Jeep Cherokee and Jeep Wrangler.

The Sterling Heights plant was slated for closure in 2009 before receiving a reprieve from Marchionne.

The Chrysler 200, along with the compact Dodge Dart, made at an FCA plant in Illinois, are scheduled to be discontinued as the U.S. market has shifted away from sedans toward larger SUVs and pickup trucks.

FCA said the new investment would bring its total spending on its U.S. plants to more than $8.3 billion since 2009.

(Reporting by Arunima Banerjee in Bengaluru; Editing by Ted Kerr)