There has been a lot of excitement in the City of Detroit since Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ (FCA) announcement of creating a new assembly plant on the city’s eastside. Just over a week and a half ago, the company extended its application window for the more than 11,000 pre-qualified Detroiters who want to work at the new Mack Avenue Assembly Plant (MAAP). As the progress continues to build one of the most state-of-the-art facilities the company has, an important piece of the puzzle is assembling at the site.
The first part of the new 790,000-square-foot paint shop started arriving at the site this past week. A series of flatbed trucks escorted by assistance vehicles due to the massive oversize loads delivered the first two of the six sections that will form the new E-coat dip tank for the MAAP facility. Each of the sections weighs over 17-tons each (or about 30,000 lbs.), with the six sections, the three bottoms and three tops be married together to create a 155-foot long tank.
For those who don’t know what E-coat is, E-coat is the first application in the paint shop process. A raw metal vehicle body is cleaned and then submerged in an E-coat bath, to allow an important protective coating that prevents corrosion. The coating thickness is limited by an applied voltage. As areas of high voltage build a coating, they become insulators thus allowing lower voltage areas to build up. This ensures a completely smooth surface for the paint shop to apply paint to, for a beautiful and long-lasting paint finish to the cars coming off the assembly line.
Approximately, 50 vehicles an hour will be bathed in more than 120,000 gallons of the E-coat solution when the paint shop is completed for the new vehicles FCA will be assembling there. FCA has announced the plant will build a new three-row Jeep® SUV, as well as the next-generation 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee (WL). The new vehicles are expected to start rolling off the MAAP line towards the end of 2020.
The MAAP facility is costing FCA $1.6 billion to create and will be the first new assembly plant in the City of Detroit in 30 years. The facility will bring 3,850 new jobs to the city, which are highly needed with the announcement that General Motors (GM) is closing their only Detroit-based facility the Detroit/Hamtramck Assembly (which was built on the site of the original Dodge plant which opened in 1910). GM announced last year that it was going to close the plant that currently builds its Chevrolet Impala and flagship Cadillac CT6 sedan (the only other plant that currently builds the CT6 is in Shanghai, China).
The MAAP facility will join the Jefferson North Assembly Plant (JNAP) in building Jeep® products in the Detroit area. Currently, the JNAP facility is home of the current Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango SUVs.
Mack Avenue Assembly Plant Construction Image Gallery: