Back at the end of February, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) announced plans to invest a total of $4.5 billion in five of its existing Michigan plants and to work with the city of Detroit and state of Michigan on building a new assembly plant within city limits. The move would increase capacity to meet the growing demand for its Jeep® and Ram brands, including the production of two new Jeep-branded white space products, as well as electrified models. The proposed projects would create nearly 6,500 new jobs.
Just six months later, workers have raised the first piece of steel to form the structure for an all-new, almost 800,000 square foot paint shop on the site. As the new paint shop is being built, workers are also renovating and transforming the existing buildings. Mack 1 was producing the Pentastar V6 engine family up until June of this year and is now being repurposed as a general assembly area, while Mack 2 which was shuttered in 2012 will become the new body shop.
Currently, 685 workers are working in two shifts, around the clock, seven days a week to prepare the site for the production of the next-generation Jeep Grand Cherokee, and 3-row variant that may or may not carry the Grand Cherokee name. The first vehicles are expected to roll off the line by the end of 2020. When complete, the facility will be the first new assembly plant built in the city of Detroit in nearly 30 years.