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Will Ram production shoot up at SHAP?

by David Zatz on

When FCA announced that Ram would be moving to the Sterling Heights Assembly Plant (“SHAP”), many wondered how they could make the trucks there, since the brand-new body shop is too small.

A month ago, Allpar’s Mike V.  suggested that they could build half the body in one shop, half in the other, and join them together in the main plant.  A public filing with the city of Sterling Heights, reported by “Harry75,” suggests that this is the right track. The upgrades include $41.8 million to renovate the old paint shop, and $2 million  for upgrades for the Paint to Body area.

The company is also considering building a nearby test track ($5.8 million), but rumor has placed it in the same site as a proposed supplier park — the nearby, and defunct, Sunnybrook Golf Course.

In all, the retooling and upgrades will cost $1.5 billion; a minor portion will be funded by city and state grants and tax breaks. The work began on September 1, 2016, with next-generation Ram production set for the first quarter of 2018.

Another member, “rapidtrans,” wrote that pickup beds will be painted in the renovated old shop — originally built (but not used) by Volkswagen  —while the new paint shop will handle the cabs.

The the end, Mike V. calculated that the production capacity of Sterling Heights could be far, far above that of Warren, with two body shops feeding the rest of the plant. This could help Ram, which recently hit the #2 spot in US pickup sales, to fill demand — but would also allow much more maintenance time, for higher quality, or make space for a new addition to the Ram family.

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