WARREN, Mich. (WJBK) - A major announcement from Fiat Chrysler Thursday.
The automaker will make a billion-dollar investment at its Warren Truck Assembly Plant - that means more jobs and bonuses. It is moving production of the Ram Heavy Duty truck from Mexico to Warren plant.
Steve Read has put in 24 years with Chrysler.
"That is wonderful news," Read said. "We got a great group of people there at Warren truck plant. They would just like to know what's tomorrow."
And tomorrow is a bit more certain now.
"Yeah," Read said.
The investment means 2,500 more jobs by 2020 and a $2,000 bonus for the automakers' 60,000 hourly and salaried workers.
"Chrysler has to invest heavily in the pickup segment," said Paul Eisenstein, automotive expert. "That is one of the hot segments in an otherwise declining market. And so they needed to invest in pickups and particularly in the heavy-duty trucks if they need to take on Ford and General Motors."
Eisenstein is publisher of the Detroit Bureau says while FCA credits the new tax plan for the investment, this was actually in the making for quite some time and it just made sense.
"I wouldn't really credit much to what the (Trump) administration is doing, it's a logical move," he said. "Remember that pickups have such a high margin that labor costs are relatively insignificant. They're going to move something else into that plant. It's likely going to be a lower priced vehicle that will be more dependent on labor costs, keeping labor costs down.
"It makes sense to bring the high-profit pickups up here and move a lower cost model into that plant."
Bonuses will be paid in the second quarter this year in addition to profit sharing and/or performance bonuses.