President-elect Donald Trump remarked on Twitter about the plans that both Fiat Chrysler and Ford Motor Co. have made that they will expand operations in the United States. The U.S. branch of Fiat-Chrysler (FCA) announced yesterday that it will invest $1 billion in factories in Michigan and Ohio, thus adding 2,000 new jobs in the United States. FCA is planning to modernize its Warren Truck Assembly Plant in Michigan and produce a new Jeep by 2020. In the case of Ford, the Michigan-based company scrapped a plan to build a factory in Mexico and instead invest in a U.S. plant.
“It's finally happening - Fiat Chrysler just announced plans to invest $1BILLION in Michigan,” wrote Trump today, “and Ohio plants, adding 2000 jobs. This after Ford said last week that it will expand in Michigan and U.S. instead of building a BILLION dollar plant in Mexico. Thank you Ford & Fiat C!”
Besides the update at the Warren plant, where FCA is slated to fabricate a new Jeep and Grand Wagoneers, its plant in Ohio will produce a new Jeep pickup truck. The plans will be in place by 2020, a company statement said, which added that the move "is a continuation of the efforts already underway to increase production capacity in the U.S.on trucks and SUVs to match demand."
FCA will continue to produce the Ram heavy-duty truck in Mexico, for now. "The added benefit of the investment in Warren is that it will enable the plant to produce the Ram heavy duty truck, which is currently produced in Mexico," FCA said.
According to Reuters, FCA Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne said today that any tariffs set into motion in a Trump administration on vehicles made in Mexico and imported to the United States could mean that the company would cease production in Mexico. “It's possible," said Marchionne about possible tariffs, that "... if they’re sufficiently large that it would make the production of anything in Mexico uneconomical," FCA is prepared, Marchionne said, to respond to whatever policies are rolled out by a Trump administration.
Spero News writer Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.