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New Renegade plant in Brazil

by Bill Cawthon on

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles officially opened its newest new Jeep production facility yesterday.

The new Goiana assembly complex, located in the northeastern Brazilian state of Pernambuco, is, according to the company, the largest and most advanced FCA plant in the world.

Jeep-Brazil-Pernambuco-1-Web

On hand for the ceremony were Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, Paulo Câmara, the governor of Pernambuco, and the FCA’s Chairman, John Elkann, and CEO Sergio Marchionne.

The company says the Goiana complex is its first “truly global plant.” From its initial development phases, it involved a team assembled from both sides of the house, as Marchionne would say, and is the first to incorporate best practices developed at FCA facilities around the world.

A total of $2.4 billion was invested in the complex, which took two and a half years to build. Just over one billion dollars was spent on the Jeep assembly plant and another $680.4 million went for the supplier park that will support the main plant.

The remaining funds were earmarked for product development and other investments.

FCA said this is the largest automotive investment in Brazil in the past ten years.

Jeep-Brazil-Pernambuco-2-Web

The Goiana plant has a covered area of nearly 2.8 million square feet and 700 robots (650 for welding, 40 for paint, and 10 for assembly). Employees at the plant can produce 250,000 vehicles per year.

The plant has enough flexibility to produce up to three different models at once, and is already building Jeep Renegades for Latin America.

Plans call for more than 9,000 employees at the new plant by the end of 2015. Over three thousand will be at the Jeep plant and nearly five thousands will be employed by suppliers. FCA says about 850 people will work in “service activities.”

Bill Cawthon grew up in the auto industry in the 1950s. His Dad worked for Chrysler and Bill spent a number of Saturdays down on the plant floor at Dodge Main in Hamtramck. Bill is also the U.S. market correspondent for just-auto.com, a British auto industry publication, and a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association, which has named the Jeep Grand Cherokee the “SUV of Texas” several times and named the Ram 1500 as the “Truck of Texas” two years running.

Bill has owned five Plymouths (including the only 1962 “Texan”), one Dodge and one Chrysler and is still trying to figure out how to justify a Wrangler. He also has owned at least one of every 1:87 scale model of a Chrysler product. You can reach him directly at (206) 888-7324 or by using the form.


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