Fiat Chrysler and the $1 Billion Upgrade

Fiat Chrysler and the $1 Billion Upgrade

January 29, 2018

In the latest announcement in its ongoing restructuring of US manufacturing, Fiat Chrysler will invest $1 billion to modernize its plant in Warren, Michigan.

The plant currently produces Ram 1500s. Production of the next version of the 1500 will shift to another plant, allowing the modernized Warren plant to manufacture two new Jeeps.

In 2020, Fiat Chrysler will also shift production of Ram Heavy Duty trucks to Warren from Saltillo, Mexico, resulting in a net increase of 2,500 jobs at the plant.

This post is based on the NY Times article, Fiat Chrysler to Spend $1 Billion to Modernize Michigan Plant, by Neal E. Boudette, January 11, 2018.

Discussion Questions
1. What is the trend for auto demand in the US?

Guidance: Two major trends include growing demand for larger, roomy vehicles instead of compact and midsize cars, and growing pressure from the government to bring foreign auto production back to the U.S.

2. What is Fiat Chrysler’s response to the trends above?

Guidance: The company will make more trucks and fewer cars, shifting production of sedans to light trucks at its Sterling Heights plant, retooling its existing Warren plant to focus on producing Jeeps and heavy duty Continue reading

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The 20: Amazon HQ2 Finalists

The 20: Amazon HQ2 Finalists

January 26, 2018

Amazon has selected 20 finalists from a group of 238 cities for its second Corporate Headquarters (dubbed Amazon HQ2).

This second headquarters may provide 50,000 jobs, and over $5 Billion in economic investment.  Many of the 20 finalists are located on the East Coast, or at least on the eastern side of the country—far from Amazon’s current headquarters in Seattle, Washington.

Forbes dissects each of the 20 finalists, including Atlanta, Miami, and Nashville, for possible reasons for inclusion. As one might expect, the (long) list includes location, affordability, and a skilled workforce.

This post is based on the Forbes article, Amazon HQ2 Shortlist: Details On The 20 Finalists In $5B Sweepstakes, by the Bisnow Team, January 19, 2018. 

For additional classroom discussion, check out our Sept 28, 2017 post on Amazon’s initial HQ2 announcement.

Discussion Questions
1. Looking over the article, what factors does Amazon appear to be using to select the finalist?

Guidance: Looking at the map of the finalists, it appears that Amazon wants its second headquarters on the East Coast, or at least on the eastern side of the country.  Sixteen of the 20 are east of the Mississippi River.  Continue reading

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