Year in Review: Chrysler expansion exceeds expectationsWritten by Duane Ramsey | | firstname.lastname@example.org
The year 2011 began with great expectations by local UAW workers for the anticipated expansion of the Toledo Assembly Complex (TAC) by Chrysler Group LLC.
Chrysler met those expectations with the Nov. 16 announcement of plans for a $500 million investment in the production facility that would add 1,105 new jobs at the Toledo North Assembly plant.
That investment includes expanding the plant with a 260,000-square-foot addition to the existing body shop and adding a metrology center. Upon completion of that expansion, a second shift would be added in the third quarter of 2013 with about 1,100 new jobs.
Chrysler Group Chairman and CEO Sergio Marchionne announced the company will invest a total of $1.7 billion to support the development and production of the next generation Jeep D-segment sport utility vehicle. It would replace the Jeep Liberty currently being built at the North Assembly plant.
“This announcement further demonstrates our commitment to the special relationship that Chrysler and the City of Toledo have shared. This decision clearly demonstrates the confidence we have in the Toledo Assembly Complex, its future and the commitment and quality of work of the people who work here,” Marchionne said at the announcement ceremonies at the plant.
“We are proud to add a new chapter to our relationship with the City of Toledo, Lucas County and State of Ohio. I have no doubt that Toledo will be a key piece in the mosaic of the future organization.”
On Dec. 16, Chrysler concluded production of the Dodge Nitro, which accounted for 13 percent of the production at the North Assembly plant. The plant will continue to produce the Jeep Liberty until the new SUV begins production in 2013.
The TAC employs 2,600 employees, according to Chrysler and the UAW. It includes the Toledo Supplier Park, where Jeep Wranglers are produced.
The Supplier Park has been working two 10-hour shifts six days a week to meet continued demand for the Jeep Wrangler models.
Both TAC plants are working overtime to keep up with demand for the models produced there. One shift remained at each plant Dec. 27-30, according to a spokesperson for Chrysler. Those plants are usually shut down during the week between Christmas and New Year’s.
“We celebrate a very bright future for this facility and the people who work here. Today, we begin the next chapter in Toledo,” Mauro Pino, plant manager of the TAC, said Nov. 16.
“It’s a big day for our members who have been working so hard and deserve it. We take great pride in the job we do here,” said Bruce Baumhower, president of UAW Local 12.
Marchionne confirmed in January 2011 that Chrysler was considering a possible investment in the TAC, but Chrysler’s plans for expansion of the TAC were not announced until all local and state incentives were finalized and a new four-year contract with the UAW was ratified.
The Ohio Department of Development (ODOD) approved $10 million in tax credits and more than $2 million in grants for work force training and new equipment that would create 1,110 new jobs and retain 1,700 existing jobs at the TAC.
The state incentives support Chrysler’s $365 million in the TAC and an additional $72 million for expansion of the Toledo Machining Plant in Perrysburg Township. The ODOD approved $3.3 million in tax credits and $850,000 in grants for worker training and equipment at the machining plant.
Toledo City Council approved a Municipal Job Creation Tax Credit of 40 percent for 10 years Oct. 4 based on the creation of 1,105 jobs at the Toledo North Assembly plant.
The city committed to expediting approvals of all building permits during the design and construction phases of the expansion and will waive all fees for those services, valued at $158,670. The Department of Inspection will collaborate with Chrysler’s design team to coordinate all fire and code variances and inspections.
Tax abatements for Chrysler on the proposed expansion were approved by Toledo Public Schools and Washington Local Schools.
Tags: Chrysler, Jeep, Municipal Job Creation Tax Credit, Ohio Department of Development, Sergio Marchionne, Toledo Assembly Complex, Toledo City Council, Toledo Public Schools, UAW, Washington Local Schools