Chrysler announced Wednesday that it will invest $1.8 billion to expand a Detroit assembly plant and retool it to make a new car-based SUV, reports the AP and Yahoo Finance.
The Jefferson North Assembly Plant, which now makes the Jeep Grand Cherokee, will get an additional 285,000 square feet for the new vehicle’s production, said Chrysler LLC’s Vice Chairman, Tom LaSorda.
The new SUV will feature Chrysler’s new Phoenix line of fuel-efficient engines and should be manufactured in early 2010.
With all the speculation about bankruptcy for Chrysler, where did they come up with the $1.8 billion for the investment? LaSorda said Chrysler has identified more than $1 billion in "nonearning" assets that it intends to sell to generate cash.
More than half of those assets have been sold, including a truck plant in Brazil, a design center in California and several small properties near the company’s headquarters in Auburn Hills.
What does this mean for Detroit? It means that more than 400 jobs will stay in Michigan.