Fiat Chrysler has announced it will invest $1.49 billion in its Sterling Heights Assembly Plant in order for it to accommodate production of the next-generation Ram 1500, which is due in 2018.
FCA will move production of the Ram 1500 from its Warren Assembly plant to the Sterling Heights plant, with production of the new Jeep Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer expected to take place at Warren. The Chrysler 200, which currently occupies the Sterling Heights plant, will go out of production by December of this year.
The Sterling Heights investment is apart of FCA’s new U.S. production strategy. Under the new plan, production of more profitable trucks, SUVs and crossovers will happen in the United States, while small vehicles will be made at plats in Mexico and other sites abroad.
FCA confirmed earlier this year it will boost production of the Jeep Wrangler with the next-generation model, due as early as late 2016, at its Toledo Assembly Complex. A Jeep pickup truck will also arrive on the same platform and will be built alongside the SUV variant at Toledo.
Other large models are also rumored to come from FCA in coming years and will likely be built at domestic production sites. These include the truck-based Ram full-size SUV, once described by analysts as a ‘no brainer’, and a mid-size Ram pickup, which was recently touted by Ram brand boss Mike Manley as something he’d “very much,” like to see.