The automaker, which is owned by Italian automaker Fiat and the United Auto Workers healthcare trust, and markets Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram and Fiat brands, will invest $240 million at three Michigan plants to increase production of Ram pickup trucks, as well as engines.
Check out our review of the new Ram 1500 here
"Today is another important milestone in living up to the commitment we made more than three and a half years ago to our employees, this city, this region and our country to transform this company," Chrysler/Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne said. "Together, and with the support of our UAW partners, we are committed to building something that will have a long-lasting, direct impact on this community."
A hot-button issue during the presidential campaign, Marchionne said the investment is proof that the federal government's decision to lend Chrysler money in 2009 as it emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy was a good one.
"Those who still doubt that we would use the second chance taxpayers granted to us to build something better and long lasting...only have to come here and see for themselves how seriously we have taken our responsibility," Marchionne said today at Chrysler's engine plant in Detroit.
The investments, first reported by the Detroit Free Press, include:
• $198 million at Chrysler's Mack Avenue Engine I plant where Chrysler will add about 250 workers to build its V6 Pentastar engine. This is especially welcome as it is investment in downtown Detroit, which sorely needs it.
• $40 million at Chrysler's Trenton North engine plant to build Pentastar and Tigershark four-cylinder engines.
• The addition of a third shift at Warren Truck in Warren to build more Ram 1500 pickups.
With this announcement, Chrysler's investments at it U.S. plants since it emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2009 now tops $4.75 billion. The company also has added nearly 6,000 hourly jobs in the U.S.
Marchionne entered the political fray last month when former White House hopeful Mitt Romney began running ads in swing-state Ohio suggesting that Chrysler was moving jobs out of Ohio to build Jeeps in China. Marchionne fired a rebuke at Romney for misleading the public.
Chrysler is considering investments in China that would enable the company to sell more Jeeps to Chinese consumers. Automakers have to build in China to sell to the Chinese or face stiff tariffs that would make a Jeep Grand Cherokee cost the equivalent of about $75,000.
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