The Latest: Fiat Chrysler cutting jobs at Illinois plant - InfoNews

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The Latest: Fiat Chrysler cutting jobs at Illinois plant

February 26, 2019 - 3:53 PM

DETROIT - The Latest on Fiat Chrysler's plan to expand in Michigan (all times local):

6:45 p.m.

Fiat Chrysler says it's cutting about 1,400 jobs at a plant in Belvidere, Illinois, that makes Jeep Cherokees — a move the automaker says is unrelated to a major investment in the Detroit area that could add 6,500 workers.

The automaker made the announcement about Belvidere on Tuesday, shortly after announcing the $4.5 billion Michigan investment that includes a new Detroit assembly plant. Company spokeswoman Jodi Tinson says they are "two separate, distinct actions."

Tinson says the northern Illinois plant is the global manufacturing hub for Cherokees and "it's feeling the softening demand of Cherokee in the global marketplace."

The plant will continue with the remaining 3,760 workers. The company says in a statement it will work to place laid off workers in open, full-time positions as they become available.

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2:20 p.m.

The city of Detroit's incentives for Fiat Chrysler to build a new assembly plant include $12 million in tax abatements over a dozen years and 200 acres (80 hectares) of land.

Mayor Mike Duggan's office said Tuesday that the city will work with the state on other incentives for the automaker's $1.6 billion investment to convert its Mack Avenue Engine Complex into a new facility.

Detroit has 60 days to get the land, 170 acres (68 hectares) of which is owned by the city, a power utility, a public water authority and a family of prominent wealthy businessmen. Duggan said the city has limited funds and hopes to primarily use land swaps to acquire the properties. Environmental reviews of the land also are required.

No residents are expected to be displaced by the project.

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2 p.m.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer says it has been a long time since Michigan has seen an automotive investment as "big and transformative" as Fiat Chrysler's plan to add about 6,500 jobs in Detroit and surrounding suburbs.

At a news conference Tuesday with Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and other officials, Whitmer applauded the automaker for "taking a great bet" on the state. She says the $4.5 billion investment would have ripple effects in Michigan and other Midwest states, boosting the automotive industry and helping other non-auto businesses.

Fiat Chrysler chief operating officer Mark Stewart says it would be the company's single largest investment in its U.S. manufacturing operations in a decade. It wants to begin constructing a new assembly plant in Detroit in the second quarter of this year.

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1 p.m.

Detroit has 60 days to assemble 200 acres (80 hectares) of land where Fiat Chrysler can implement a proposed major expansion within the city.

A memorandum of understanding signed Tuesday between Detroit and the automaker outlines terms of the deal.

Mayor Mike Duggan says the land will have to be bought with the co-operation of landowners because the government can no longer use eminent domain powers for auto plant projects. He says the automaker is on a very tight schedule, but Detroit must act to land 5,000 jobs with an average wage of $58,000.

Fiat Chrysler said Tuesday it will bring 6,500 new jobs to Detroit and its suburbs in a $4.5 billion investment.

Duggan says they "are the kinds of jobs we need to bring back to the city."

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11:40 a.m.

Fiat Chrysler says it plans to roughly double its hourly workforce in Detroit as part of a $4.5 billion investment that will add about 6,500 jobs in the city and surrounding suburbs to build all-new or next-generation SUVs.

The company said Tuesday it will reopen a shuttered engine plant in the city and convert another in the same complex into a future assembly plant for the Jeep Grand Cherokee and a new, three-row, full-size Jeep SUV and plug-in hybrid models.

That complex is expected to add 3,850 jobs. Another 1,100 new jobs are expected to be added at FCA's Jefferson North Assembly, and roughly 1,500 new jobs at facilities in the neighbouring suburb of Warren.

Fiat Chrysler says it's working with city and state officials on tax incentive packages.

News from © The Associated Press, 2019
The Associated Press

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