Chrysler announced recently that it has added some 800 new jobs at its Sterling Heights Assembly Plant (SHAP) to support the production of its all-new 2015 Chrysler 200 sedan. Total employment at the Sterling Heights, MI plant grows to almost 2,800 with the hires, an impressive figure for a plant that was slated for closure in 2010.

Speaking to a crowd of employees and community leaders, Fiat-Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne was on hand to celebrate the kick-off of 200 production last week. "We're making a big bet on its success," said Marchionne of the sedan, "we've invested nearly a billion dollars in this facility."

That billion-dollar bill has been used to construct a spanking new paint shop, install a new body shop and install "machinery, tooling and material-handling equipment" according to the Chrysler press release. The company says that SHAP now runs to nearly five million square feet of manufacturing space – loads of room for all the new employees to do their thing – and that the facility can handle multiple vehicles on two unique architectures.

Marchionne also poked fun of the fact that not all of the money Chrysler has spent on the lead-up to the 200, was allocated to SHAP. Quipped the CEO, "With all due respect to Bob Dylan and to the generous amount of money to air this commercial during the Super Bowl, it is the men and the women here at SHAP that are real stars."

You can find the full video of Sergio's speech and another one touring the reborn SHAP, below.

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Chrysler Group Adds 800 Employees at Sterling Heights Plant to Support Chrysler 200 Production

- Chrysler Group CEO and UAW President host production celebration attended by community leaders and employees

- Slated to close in 2010, the Sterling Heights Assembly Plant rises from the ashes with nearly $1 billion in investments

- New paint and body shops transform plant into flexible, state-of-the-art manufacturing facility

- Additions increase plant's footprint by 2 million square feet

March 14, 2014 , Sterling Heights, Mich. - Chrysler Group LLC Chairman and CEO Sergio Marchionne announced today that 800 jobs have been added to the rolls at the Sterling Heights Assembly Plant (Mich.), a facility that was slated to close in 2010, to support production of the all-new 2015 Chrysler 200. Marchionne confirmed the hiring during a plant event celebrating production of the new mid-size vehicle.

Joined by UAW President Bob King, Marchionne told the audience, which included Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel, Sterling Heights Mayor Richard Notte, other community leaders and employees, that the plant is an example of how far the Company has come since June 2009.

"The revitalization of SHAP is an apt symbol of how far Chrysler has come because of the courage and resilience of our people," said Marchionne. "This plant was scheduled to close by the end of 2010. But the workers and the leaders of this community refused to accept this verdict as final."

SHAP's story is one of rags to riches. In June 2009, as a new company emerged, it was announced that the plant would close in December 2010. Community leaders and employees rallied together to rewrite the plant's fate. Those efforts were rewarded with a decision in March 2010 to repurchase the plant, thereby extending production through 2012. An announcement in July 2010 that SHAP would remain open indefinitely and add a second shift of production (about 900 jobs) in the first quarter of 2011 gave new life to the facility and its employees. Later that year, Chrysler Group confirmed that with continued growing demand and new product on the horizon, it would invest nearly $850 million to construct an all-new, state-of-the-art paint shop, as well as install new machinery, tooling and material-handling equipment. A second investment of $165 million for a new body shop was announced in October 2011.

"This celebration has been a long time coming for the workforce here at Sterling Heights," said King. "They have proven that American autoworkers lead the world in building quality products. What has been achieved here is a testament to the collaborative spirit that exists between the UAW and Chrysler."

With the two new facilities, the plant is now one of the most flexible and state-of-the-art in the Company with nearly five million square feet of manufacturing space. As a result, SHAP is now capable of building multiple vehicles on two unique architectures.

With the launch of the Chrysler 200, SHAP has been able to add another 800 jobs as a result of in-sourcing of several critical processes, the additional content of the all-new 200 and the implementation of World Class Manufacturing (WCM). Total employment at SHAP has grown to nearly 2,800, more than double what it was in 2009.

"We are here today because so many of you believed that the only difference between the possible and the impossible is that the impossible has never been done before," Marchionne told the employees. "At the end of the day, our decision to invest in SHAP came down to the level of commitment shown by each of you that works here. You have demonstrated a passion to deliver great products for our customers."

SHAP employees have embraced the "I Believe" theme, creating an internal communications campaign that resonates in everything they do. The production celebration event opened with a performance by the plant's "I Believe" Choir and closed with a recitation of the "I Believe" pledge. Posters, water bottles and t-shirts reinforce the message of optimism throughout the shop floor.

Acknowledging not only the efforts of the community and its leaders who stood by the plant during tough times, Marchionne applauded the employees for their focus and dedication.

"Your resolve has set an inspiring example for everyone at Chrysler, showing what can happen when you find the strength and courage to fight for something worthwhile," he said. "I'm proud to be associated with you, and to be on this exciting journey with you. A journey of continued growth that will secure jobs and make a positive contribution to the communities where we live and work. I, too, am a believer."

Since June 2009, Chrysler Group has announced investments of nearly $5.2 billion and added almost 13,400 hourly employees.


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  • 49 Comments
      Graham Combs
      • 9 Months Ago
      Have yet to see a new 200 on the streets here (and the new models usually show up on the streets of Royal Oak before appearing in the showrooms), but in photos it is a vastly more handsome vehicle than the Acura and other high end Japanese models one sees on the road. I mean one front end looks like a split lip after a bloody fist fight. Refined bold lines seem to be the new Chrysler look and I like it. In the profile you can even see a bit of the post-Fiat 300s.
      Jun Jiusi Zheng
      • 9 Months Ago
      An italian pussi from Detroit? Sounds approachable
      Kenwood
      • 9 Months Ago
      Are those the same Chrysler workers who do speedballs and chug 40 oz beers in the parking lot at lunchtime?
      Beardinals
      • 9 Months Ago
      From slouch, to stunner!
        to your email L
        • 9 Months Ago
        @Beardinals
        Let's hope FCA learned from the mistakes of the Dodge Dart. It looks like a car I would want to buy but then again, how is it in 'real life', let's hope we aren't disappointed.
          D By
          • 9 Months Ago
          @to your email L
          They did- just look at the 2014 Dart. If the 2.4 tigershark and 6 speed auto was the powertrain it had when it debuted, I think things would be a different story about the Dart.
          bootsnchaps60
          • 9 Months Ago
          @to your email L
          The Dart will be a nice Chrysler 100 if Dodge goes away.
          cadetgray
          • 9 Months Ago
          @to your email L
          Why would Dodge go away? It has been their volume brand for years. Once Plymouth was discontinued, this solidified Dodge's position as the brand that could carry volume sales. Chrysler has only had two vehicles to reach high sales in their categories...the Town & Country (usually higher sales as the Plymouth Voyager) and the PT Cruiser (originally designed for Plymouth). Historically, Chrysler sales were always less because they were priced for the upper-middle to luxury car market. Last month Dodge still sold the most cars for the company. Think the FIAT folks are staring to realize that too many sales would be lost if Dodge were shuttered. It just has a bigger fan base with all of the car and truck sales over the years. Dodge is FCA's hometown feel good brand. Dodge has that feel of "Apple Pie, Mom, and the old-school performance that draws customers when the product is right. It is to Chrysler what Chevy is to GM. Granted Jeep is probably their ultimate All-American brand but it's focus is on 4x4 and SUV/CUV vehicles. Chrysler itself is like Buick and Cadillac...sure an American brand but the people who usually bought those cars had money to travel abroad each summer rather than watch their kids play softball and people with money are always suspect in the eyes of the flag waving working class. I think it would be a big mistake to discontinue a brand that still sells well. One lesson learned by the closing of Oldsmobile, Saturn, and Pontiac was that those brand loyalists were not retained by GM by selling them Buicks and Chevys. Brands loyalists can be like Sports fans....they would rather die than support another team.
      pwr2lbs
      • 9 Months Ago
      Boring!
      yo
      • 9 Months Ago
      nahh.. I will pass on all chrysler products...they are starting to all look the same. That new 200..looks just like the dodge fart/dart.
        • 9 Months Ago
        @yo
        [blocked]
        • 9 Months Ago
        @yo
        [blocked]
      David Donovan
      • 9 Months Ago
      It's so boring looking. It looks like a bloated Dart.
      • 9 Months Ago
      [blocked]
        Dean
        • 9 Months Ago
        Put. Down. The. Bong.
        RamSport
        • 9 Months Ago
        What? Nothing in that whole statement makes any sense.
          • 9 Months Ago
          @RamSport
          [blocked]
          cadetgray
          • 9 Months Ago
          @RamSport
          I think he's speaking "word salad" ...usually a marker seen in schizophrenics. I was scratching my head too, but then he may have been sitting in O'Paddy's Bar drinking a green beer today....lol
      paqza
      • 9 Months Ago
      Probably getting one of these over the A3/Q50/S60. Much bigger car, sure, but it's cheaper, has 70 more horsepower, nicer interior, and actually has features I'll use like heated steering wheel and HomeLink.
        paqza
        • 9 Months Ago
        @paqza
        That mainly refers to 200C over the A3.
      Hazdaz
      • 9 Months Ago
      That's a very sharp looking mid sized car.
      MAX
      • 9 Months Ago
      Chrysler was only 4400 vehicles behind TRDyota last month so the "(T)oyota (T)rolls (A)gainst (C)hrysler are out in force. Funny how hiring a bunch of workers in Sterling Heights and Toledo gets less publicity than laying a few workers off for a couple of weeks at Belvidere. BTW, the Illinois plant is busy enough building Compasses and Patriots. The Dart will get a content and marketing intervention. 9 speed automatic production will increase. A 2.0L Hurricane Turbo is on the way. It's cross showroom competitor, the Avenger will go away. The running dogs bark but the Grand Caravan moves on
      ffelix422
      • 9 Months Ago
      It's like the people in the photo are saying: "Hi we will be responsible for the, (inevitable) future recall of this new product- thanks".
        Karfreek
        • 9 Months Ago
        @ffelix422
        How about getting them shirts so they are all dressed the same and look like some effort was made for the photo. A picture says 1,000 words...
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