Fiat Chrysler to invest $1 bn on back of USA tax reform

President Donald Trump speaks during a prison reform roundtable in the Roosevelt Room of the Washington Thursday Jan. 11 2018

The company said it would spend the money to modernize the Warren Truck Assembly Plant in MI to produce its Ram Heavy Duty trucks.

When Fiat Chrysler announced its decision to move production of the Ram Truck plant from Mexico to Michigan, President Donald Trump tweeted praise for the company's "very wise decision" and a promise of more to follow. Jefferies Group upped their price target on Fiat Chrysler Automobiles from $14.00 to $19.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 23rd. About 90 percent of the Ram heavy-duty pickups made at Fiat Chrysler's Saltillo plant in Mexico are sold in the United States or Canada, company officials said.

The investments announced Thursday will be in addition to plans FCA unveiled last January when it said it would spend $1 billion at Warren Truck and in Toledo to expand Jeep production. Separately, the Euro-American automaker announced plans to pay $2,000 bonuses to 60,000 USA hourly and salaried employees this coming spring.

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It is proper that the company's employees are able to share in the tax reform savings and that we acknowledge openly and the improvement in the business environment in the U.S.by investing accordingly in our industrial footprint, said the automaker's CEO Sergio Marchionne through a press release. Marchionne and the company said both the new investment and the bonuses were "made possible in part by the passage of US tax reform legislation late past year". Ram HDs are now built in Saltillo, Mexico.

Most recently, the Company announced investments totaling $3.5 billion, with the addition of 3,700 new jobs, to strengthen its USA manufacturing base, and align US capacity to extend the Jeep and Ram product lines.

The automaker also culled the Dodge Dart sedan, converting its plant in IL to produce Jeeps.

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According to reports, the automotive major is expected to unleash its new light pickup truck, the Ram 1500, in the next few days. That plant will be retooled to make future commercial vehicles for global export which takes advantage of Mexico having more trade agreements than the U.S. FCA said this was on top of a large investment at the Warren factory announced previous year. In the process, it will add 2,500 jobs.

Trump is also seeking to revamp the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with Canada and Mexico, and has encouraged USA businesses to bring jobs back home from across the southern border. Deutsche Bank reissued a "hold" rating on shares of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles in a research note on Thursday, September 7th.

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