DETROIT, Michigan (Reuters)—Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV said on Tuesday it will invest $4.5 billion in five plants to build new models of Jeeps to compete more effectively in the lucrative market for full-size, three-row SUVs currently dominated by rivals General Motors and Ford. The plants will also create 6,500 jobs in Michigan, Fiat Chrysler (FCA) said in an announcement around three months after GM said it would not allocate new products to five plants in North America that mostly produce less-popular sedan models. GM workers and politicians, including U.S. President Donald Trump, have blasted GM for the decision, which is likely to close those plants, one of which recently received a one-year reprieve. The move also comes at a time when the U.S. market looks set to decline, with 2019 industry-wide new vehicle sales expected to fall below 2018 levels. But FCA Chief Executive Officer Mike Manley said in a conference call with reporters that the company’s investments are focused on SUVs, an area “forecasted to continue to grow.” He added that 60 percent of SUV sales are for three-row models “and we don’t have a three-row offering . . . and this is a segment that I’ve been very interested in… Read full this story
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