Fiat Chrysler Invests $1.5 Billion to Retool for Ram Pickupsby
Automaker continuing transition to more truck production
Production of Chrysler 200 touted by Eminem ends in December
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV will invest $1.48 billion to retool a Michigan assembly plant to make the Ram 1500 full-size pickup as truck models continue to gain favor in the U.S. market.
The Sterling Heights Assembly Plant will end production in December of the Chrysler 200 sedan, the car celebrated in a 2011 Super Bowl commercial that featured rapper Eminem, to make way for pickup output. Earlier this month, the Italian-American automaker said it would invest $1 billion in Toledo, Ohio, and Belvidere, Illinois, to increase Jeep sport utility vehicle production.
Jeep and Ram both posted U.S. sales gains in the first half, with Ram trucks recording an 11 percent gain and the SUV brand jumping 17 percent. Chief Executive Officer Sergio Marchionne said in January that a permanent shift in consumer tastes was leading the company to end production of the midsize 200 and the compact Dodge Dart to focus on light trucks.
Plans for the Warren Truck Assembly Plant in Michigan, which currently builds the Ram 1500, will be announced at a later date, the company said. Since 2009, Fiat Chrysler said it has announced more than $8.3 billion of investments and added more than 25,000 jobs in the U.S.