Fiat Chrysler to invest $1b in Michigan plant, add 2500 jobs

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Italian-American automaker, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, unveiled its plans to spend $1 billion to transfer production of Ram heavy-duty pickup trucks from Saltillo, Mexico to Warren, Michigan truck factory in 2020, a decision that will reduce risk to the automaker's profit from the possible changes to the North American Free Trade Agreement. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. said earlier Thursday it will boost wages to $11 an hour and also give as much $1,000 bonuses to employees after Trump and Congress cut the US corporate tax rate to 21 percent from 35 percent late a year ago. Most recently, the Company announced investments totaling $3.5 billion, with the addition of 3,700 new jobs, to strengthen its US manufacturing base, and align USA capacity to extend the Jeep and Ram product lines.

In addition, according to AMIA, Mexico's carmaker association, the country was able to export 276, 842 Ram Heavy Duty trucks in 2017, some 88 percent of them to the U.S.

$350 million in the Belvidere Assembly Plant in IL to produce the Jeep Cherokee, which moved from Toledo, OH, in 2017.

Miguel Ceballos, FCA spokesman for Mexico, said the company in 2018 and 2019 expects more growth in Mexico, and the moment it stops producing the Ram Heavy Duty pickups it will start to produce the new commercial vehicle, "which still does not have a name", Ceballos said.

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"These announcements reflect our ongoing commitment to our US manufacturing footprint and the dedicated employees who have contributed to FCA's success", said Sergio Marchionne, chief executive officer of FCA. He says employees should also share in the tax savings. Approximately 700 new jobs will be added to support production, FCA said.

On Wednesday, Toyota Motor Corp and Mazda Motor Corp announced they would build a new $1.6 billion joint venture auto assembly plant in Alabama, drawing praise from Trump. The bonus will be paid to all eligible employees of the FCA automotive and components operations. FCA had pledged to invest $5.3 billion in American plants to guarantee additional union jobs as part of that agreement.

Fiat Chrysler said its plant investments remain contingent on the final approval of state and local incentives. FCA is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "FCAU" and on the Mercato Telematico Azionario under the symbol "FCA".

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