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City OKs Jeep-Toledo expansion

by David Zatz on

According to the Toledo Blade, the Toledo City Plan Commission has approved Chrysler’s tentative expansion plan for the Toledo Assembly complex. The Commission had 27 conditions for approval, none of which brought objections from Chrysler.

Chrysler has still not publicly made a final decision on the expansion, but sought the approval to speed construction if they went ahead with it. The plan would expand the plant by 290,000 square feet, adding to the body, trim, chassis, and finish shops, and would cost Chrysler $365 million. A second shift, with over a thousand new jobs, would be added as well. Observers note that the plant would probably be able to make any compact or mid-sized car or SUV the company has, other than Wrangler; it could probably make the next-generation Liberty, Journey, and 200 interchangeably, providing more flexibility.

Ohio has already approved a tax credit for 75% of the additional taxes Chrysler would pay over 15 years, around $10 million. In return, Chrysler would restore around 1,100 jobs with a second shift at the plant, which currently makes the Jeep Liberty. The upgrades would cost $8 million for a larger physical area, and $357 million in equipment. Sources say that the money would convert the plant for production of any compact or midsized car or crossover based on the CUSW platform or D-sized equivalent platform. Some have speculated that it could include the facility to build the completely unrelated Jeep Wrangler at Toledo North as well as its current home in Toledo South.

The new jobs would pay $14.65 per hour (around $29,000 per year) while 55 management jobs would be created at over $90,000 per year.

Local incentives reported by the Blade are 50% property tax cuts for 15 years for the plant, by both of the towns it is located in. That is worth nearly $100,000 per year. The city of Toledo is also expected to cut taxes for the plant.

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