By the BF Staff
From the January/February 2018 Issue
Made possible in part by the passage of U.S. tax reform legislation late last year, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) will invest more than $1 billion in its Michigan manufacturing operations, and make a special payment to recognize U.S. employees for their continued efforts towards the company’s success.
“These announcements reflect our ongoing commitment to our U.S. manufacturing footprint and the dedicated employees who have contributed to FCA’s success,” said Sergio Marchionne, Chief Executive Officer, FCA. “It is only proper that our employees share in the savings generated by tax reform and that we openly acknowledge the resulting improvement in the U.S. business environment by investing in our industrial footprint accordingly.”
In Michigan, FCA will invest more than $1 billion to modernize the Warren Truck Assembly Plant to produce the next generation Ram Heavy Duty truck, which will relocate from its current production location in Saltillo, Mexico, in 2020. This investment is in addition to the announcement made in January 2017 which committed to spending a portion of $1 billion in Warren Truck Assembly to expand the Jeep® product line with the addition of the all-new Jeep Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer. The Saltillo Truck Assembly Plant will be repurposed to produce future commercial vehicles for global distribution.
To support the increased volume at the Warren facility, 2,500 new jobs will be created, above and beyond the jobs announced as part of the January 2017 announcement.
FCA will also make a special bonus payment of $2,000 to approximately 60,000 hourly and salaried employees in the U.S., excluding senior leadership. The payment will be made in the second quarter of this year, and will be in addition to any profit sharing and salaried performance bonuses that employees would otherwise be eligible to receive in 2018. The special bonus will be paid to all eligible employees of the FCA automotive and components operations in the U.S.
CONSUMERS ENERGY GROWS WIND POWER
Consumers Energy recently announced today that Cross Winds® Energy Park II in Tuscola County’s Columbia Township began serving customers and contributing 44 megawatts of renewable energy in Michigan.
“We have ‘flipped the switch’ for Phase II of our Cross Winds Energy Park to meet more of Michigan’s demand for energy with renewable wind energy. The project also firmly supports Consumers Energy’s goal of fulfilling our triple bottom line of people, planet and profits,” said Consumers Energy VP Dennis Dobbs.
The $90 million Cross Winds Phase II employed 250 workers during construction. Its 44-megawatt capacity is enough to serve about 17,000 residents.
Cross Winds Energy Park Phase II project is part of a total investment of $345 million comprised of 81 wind turbines in total–including the first phase of Cross Winds–and can produce up to 155 megawatts of renewable energy, enough to serve about 60,000 residents. The project will help Consumers Energy meet the needs of large businesses that choose to go 100 percent renewable and contribute to Consumers Energy’s commitment to add $5 billion into the state’s economy over five years through Pure Michigan Business Connect by buying goods and services from Michigan companies.
Consumers Energy worked with lead contractor White Construction to construct the 19 turbines for Phase II, each 499 feet tall. Phase III plans have been approved for Consumers Energy’s Cross Winds Energy Park by Columbia and Akron townships. This final phase of the park is expected to go into commercial operation in 2020.