Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) announced back in February 2019, that the company would invest $1.6 billion to convert the two plants that made up the Mack Avenue Engine Complex into a state-of-the-art assembly plant on Detroit’s east side. The plant is scheduled to produce the 2022 Jeep® Grand Cherokee, its new third-row variant, and plug-in hybrid (PHEV) versions of both vehicles. The plant marked the first automotive assembly plant in the city limits since Chrysler opened the Jefferson North Assembly Plant (JNAP) in 1991, to launch the first generation Jeep Grand Cherokee.
The new Detroit Assembly Complex – Mack plant opened up some 2,500 new additional jobs to the area. FCA made the promise to the City of Detroit, that the company would offer jobs to people living within the city limits first. Together with Detroit at Work, they used processes that prioritized Detroiters like those who lived closest to the plant, returning residents, and veterans, to make sure they could fill the jobs with hard-working citizens from around the area.
According to FCA, as of October 5th, the company had received more than 16,000 prospective applicants from both the City of Detroit and the Detroit at Work program. Out of those applicants, more than 4,100 interviews were conducted, with 2,513 offers of employment extended to those interviewed. Only three people declined the offer of employment.
About 60% of Detroiters that accepted a conditional offer of employment at the new Detroit Assembly Complex – Mack plant opted to the jump start their career by joining the company’s JNAP (home of the current Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango), Sterling Heights Assembly Plant (home to the Ram 1500), or other Detroit area facilities before going to start at the Mack facility. The other employees opted to wait until the Mack location starts production in early 2021.
The new Mack facility has a deep history for the company dating back almost 70 years. The former Chrysler Corporation purchased the plant in 1953 from Briggs Manufacturing Company and produced car bodies and frames. In 1992, it was converted to produce the first generation Dodge Viper. When production of the Viper moved to the Conner Avenue Assembly Plant (now known as Conner Center) in 1996, the plant was altered by a $900 million investment to become an engine plant.
The Mack Avenue Engine Complex as it became known as, then went on to produce over 3 million 4.7-liter V8 engines, 3 million 3.7-liter V6 engines, and built its 1 millionth Pentastar V6 in March 2018.