Report: Fiat Chrysler to open Detroit plant to build new Jeep

Company wants to repurpose shuttered building

By JACKIE WATTLES, CNN BUSINESS
Fiat Chrysler

(CNN) - Fiat Chrysler may revive a shuttered Detroit factory, signaling the automaker wants to expand its American manufacturing — even as competitors scale back their US operations.

The company wants to repurpose a building in the northwestern side of the Detroit as an assembly site for a forthcoming three-row Jeep Grand Cherokee SUV that will debut in model year 2021, according to The Detroit News. The site used to house engine production for Chrysler, but the automaker closed its doors in 2012.

When reopened, the plant reportedly will employ up to 400 people. Fiat Chrysler (FCAU) declined to comment to CNN Business.

The news comes just over a week after General Motors announced it would lay off 15% of its salaried workers and shut five plants in North America, including one in Motor City. GM (GM) said the layoffs are closures are part of a plan to slash costs by $6 billion a year by the end of 2020 as the company looks to retire most of its sedan models, which have waned in popularity, in favor of SUVs.

GM said it needs to cut about 8,000 salaried workers as well as about 3,300 hourly workers at four US plants. GM wants to cut costs to invest more in the next generation of electric and self-driving cars.

President Donald Trump condemned GM's decision, and chief executive Mary Barra went to Capitol Hill Wednesday to explain the decision to lawmakers. Trump has tried to convince American corporations to bring manufacturing onto US shores rather than outsourcing production.

CNN Business' Chris Isidore contributed to this report.

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