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FCA Announces Plan to Invest More than $1 billion in Michigan Plant, Add 2,500 New Jobs and Pay $2,000 Bonus to U.S. Employees; Actions Supported by U.S. Tax Reform

  • Investment will modernize Warren Truck Assembly to produce Ram Heavy Duty
  • Ram Heavy Duty truck production will relocate from Mexico to Michigan in 2020
  • Plant will add 2,500 new U.S. jobs to support production of heavy-duty truck
  • Approximately 60,000 FCA employees in the U.S. will receive special bonus payment
  • Total U.S. investment grows to more than $10 billion since 2009, with over 25,000 jobs created to date
  • Production move solidifies the U.S. as the global manufacturing hub for Ram products

FCA announced today two actions made possible in part by the passage of U.S. tax reform legislation late last year – an additional investment in its U.S. manufacturing operations and a special payment to recognize employees for their continued efforts towards the success of the Company.

First, the Company confirmed that it will invest more than $1 billion to modernize the Warren Truck Assembly Plant (Michigan) 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.

Second, the Company confirmed that it will make a special bonus payment of $2,000 to approximately 60,000 FCA hourly and salaried employees in the U.S., excluding senior leadership. The payment, which recognizes employees for their continued commitment to the Company’s success, 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.

“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.”

Investment in U.S. Manufacturing Grows
FCA has invested $10 billion in its U.S. manufacturing operations since June 2009. Most recently, the Company announced investments totaling $3.5 billion, with the addition of 3,700 new jobs, to strengthen its U.S. manufacturing base, and align U.S. capacity to extend the Jeep and Ram product lines.

Those investments and related actions involved production shifts at three plants in Illinois, Ohio, and Michigan to gain the capacity for the Jeep Cherokee, Jeep Wrangler and Ram Light Duty truck, and the introduction of three new Jeep models at plants in Ohio and Michigan.

The investments include:

  • $350 million in the Belvidere Assembly Plant (Illinois) to produce the Jeep Cherokee, which moved from Toledo, Ohio in 2017. More than 300 new jobs were added to support production.
  • $700 million in the Toledo Assembly Complex (Ohio) to retool the North plant to produce the next generation Jeep Wrangler. Approximately 700 new jobs will be added to support production.
  • $1.5 billion in the Sterling Heights Assembly Plant (Michigan) to build the next generation Ram 1500 truck. More than 700 new jobs will be added to support production.
  • $1 billion in the south plant of the Toledo Assembly Complex to prepare the facility to produce an all-new Jeep truck, and in the Warren Truck Assembly Plant to modernize the plant to build the all-new Jeep Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer. More than 2,000 new jobs will be added at these two plants to support production.

The plant investment actions announced today are subject to the negotiation and final approval of incentives by state and local entities.

About FCA
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. (“FCA”), the seventh-largest automaker in the world based on total annual vehicle sales, is an international automotive group. FCA is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “FCAU” and on the Mercato Telematico Azionario under the symbol “FCA.”

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Hydrogen Fuel Cell Trucks

Hydrogen Fuel Cell Trucks
From prototype to reality as major manufacturers get on board

(Originally published on Fleet Owner, September 2017)

By Erik Neandross, CEO of Gladstein, Neandross & Associates

Hydrogen fuel cell medium- and heavy-duty vehicles were once a vehicle technology platform that was dominated by startups and early adopters but is now seeing investments from some of the trucking industry’s biggest names. Toyota, UPS and Kenworth have all made headlines recently for high-profile hydrogen fuel cell projects. Meanwhile, several other major truck manufacturers have said they’re exploring zero emission technology strategies to respond to increasing customer and regulatory pressures.

Fuel cells powered by hydrogen have become an attractive technology because the hydrogen powers an electric motor and the only emission out of the tailpipe is water. Hydrogen fuel can be made from 100% renewable sources and fill a hydrogen tank is a similar user experience for the driver as a gasoline or diesel vehicle, unlike plugging in a battery-electric vehicle.

Given hydrogen fuel cell vehicle’s zero tailpipe emission profile, areas with air quality issues—largely due to a concentration of heavy-duty diesel trucks—has become the ideal testing ground. More specifically, Southern California, which is home to the nation’s largest seaport complex and worst air quality, has become the epicenter for fuel cell vehicle R&D projects.

One of the first engine makers to tackle fuel cells was California-based US Hybrid Inc. They have been building fuel cell engines for transit buses, step vans, and military vehicles for several years. The company recently unveiled its first class 8 fuel cell port drayage truck featuring its PEM fuel cell engine that will run at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. The fuel cell tractor, a Navistar International ProStar day cab, features US Hybrid’s FCe80, 80 kW PEM fuel cell engine, an estimated driving range of 200 miles under normal drayage operation, and can be fully refueled in less than nine minutes.

Salt Lake City start-up, Nikola Motor Co. announced they are beginning to build their Nikola One, a hydrogen fuel cell semi-truck that produces 1,000 horsepower, can generate 2,000 pound-feet of torque and travel 800 miles or more between fillings. Nikola also plans to help move the industry one step further by constructing a nationwide fueling network of over 350 hydrogen stations. Building the fueling infrastructure is critical for wide-scale deployments of fuel cell vehicles as there are currently only a few handfuls of stations across the nation.

Toyota Motor Corp., the world’s second-largest automaker, unveiled their “Project Portal” venture—a class 8 truck powered by a hydrogen fuel cell. Toyota will begin testing the concept vehicle in real-world use shuttling shipping containers between the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach and various freight depots up to 70 miles away.

Kenworth Truck Co., the first major heavy-duty truck maker to join the fuel cell race, recently announced that they are developing a hydrogen fuel cell tractor that will haul freight from the Southern California ports to nearby warehouses. The tractor, which will be delivered later this year, will use lithium-ion batteries to power an electric motor. The vehicle is one of several prototypes the company is developing with the aid of $9 million in grants from local and federal government agencies to develop and test low and zero emission drayage trucks.

The world’s largest package delivery company, UPS unveiled an extended range class 6 fuel cell vehicle that it will deploy in its “Rolling Laboratory” fleet of alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles. UPS’ goal, in partnership with U.S. Department of Energy, is to develop a first-of-its-kind, zero tailpipe emissions delivery truck that meets the same route and range requirements of their existing conventional fuel vehicles.

With all of the recently announced projects and some of the industry’s biggest players beginning to join the race, it’s only a matter of time before we begin to see more hydrogen fuel cell trucks on the road.

Original article: http://fleetowner.com/emissions/hydrogen-fuel-cell-trucks

About GNA

GNA is the leading North American consulting firm specializing in market development for low emission and alternative fuel vehicle technologies, infrastructure, and fuels for both on- and off-road applications.