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Fiat Chrysler announces plans to open new factory in Detroit

The factory will reportedly focus on producing trucks and SUVs

JEFF KOWALSKY/AFP/Getty Images

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Fiat Chrysler is planning to open a manufacturing plant in Detroit. This comes on the heels of General Motors announcing that it will be closing a plant in the same city.

Here's what we know

According to the Wall Street Journal, this is the first assembly plant to be opened by any major domestic car company in the United States in a decade. For a struggling Detroit, this will be the first new auto assembly line in 27 years, according to the Detroit News.

The new plant will focus on producing trucks and SUVs. Fiat told the WSJ that this focus was due to consumer interest, which has shifted away from smaller passenger cars. CNBC reports that Fiat Chrysler's existing truck and SUV manufacturing plants in the United States are running near capacity.

The plant will be housed at a Mack II Engine Plant that closed in 2012. The Detroit News estimated that the new plant could create up to 400 jobs.

Italian automaker Fiat had started buying up shares in Chrysler in 2009, when the American car company filed for bankruptcy. By 2014, the American car company was a subsidiary of Fiat. Fiat Chrysler's sales in the U.S. were up 8 percent in 2018.

What else?

This announcement comes less than a month after General Motors announced that it would be laying off 14,700 workers in the United States and Canada, and shutting down assembly facilities in Detroit; Warren, Ohio; and Oshawa, Ontario, Canada, as well as propulsion plants in White Marsh, Maryland; and Warren, Michigan.

President Donald Trump slammed GM for the decision to close those facilities, and threatened to end government subsidies for its electric cars in retaliation.

The Ford Motor Company also said in late November that it would be cutting a shift at two separate plants, in an effort to prevent layoffs.

One last thing…
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