Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) has officially released details on its new three-year agreement with its Unifor-represented Canadian workforce. Last Thursday, Unifor officials stated that an agreement was made only minutes before a strike was scheduled across Canada. Union officials released some details about the new deal to the press, but today marks the first official announcement from the automaker.
“FCA has maintained a strong footprint in Canada for nearly a century. Over the last decade, we have invested over $4 billion in our Canadian manufacturing facilities, more than any other OEM in the country and it is our intention to maintain this leadership,” said Mark Stewart, Chief Operating Officer, FCA North America. “This agreement bolsters our global competitiveness and positions us for future growth with new product investment and new jobs, while also demonstrating our commitment to our employees, their families, and the communities we represent.”
Working with Unifor and both the Federal and Provincial governments, FCA has announced that it will invest $1.35 billion to $1.50 billion to install a new multi-energy vehicle architecture, including Plug-In Hybrid Electric (PHEV) and Battery Electric (BEV) vehicle capability, and at least one new model on that architecture at its Windsor Assembly Plant.
There have been rumors about that new electrified architecture being based on the Groupe PSA (the company with which FCA has agreed to a 50:50 merger with) Electric Vehicle Modular Platform (eVMP). That platform will underpin a number of PSA products as well as a rumored Alfa Romeo product. The eVMP platform has been designed for both front-wheel-drive (FWD) and all-wheel-drive (AWD) applications, with up to 250kW, and able to integrate battery packs with 60 to 100 kWh capacity for 250 miles to 400 miles. This would fit the profile of the Chrysler Portal Concept, which has been rumored to be an influence on a new future people mover for the Chrysler brand.
The agreement also had FCA release details about the future of the Brampton Assembly Plant just outside of Toronto. The plant is home to the Dodge Charger, Dodge Challenger, and Chrysler 300 Series. The agreement has the plant receiving a $50 million investment to continue production of the Chrysler 300 as well as manufacturing three new variants of the popular Dodge Charger and Dodge Challenger muscle cars.
The Etobicoke Casting Plant will receive two new products with an investment of $14.4 million, which includes a workforce increase of 22%. FCA’s transport operation known as FCAT will also be getting an additional $14.3 million investment for new equipment upgrades.
The new agreement affects more than 8,400 Unifor-represented manufacturing employees across the country.