Editor's note: All financial figures in this story are in U.S. dollars and were translated from Canadian dollar figures at current exchange rates.
Fiat Chrysler plans to invest between $1 billion and $1.1 billion to begin building electrified vehicles at its Windsor, Ont., assembly plant in 2024, according to Unifor President Jerry Dias.
Dias, speaking Thursday morning at a news conference outlining the details of a tentative three-year contract reached late Wednesday night with FCA, said the automaker plans to launch a new platform at Windsor Assembly that will allow for the production of battery-electric vehicles “and/or” plug-in hybrids at the plant.
The investment is expected to result in the return of the plant’s third shift in 2024, and about 2,000 workers being hired, according to Unifor. That includes about 425 workers currently on layoff following the end of the third shift earlier this year. About 1,500 workers were laid off as a result of the cut, though many of them took retirement packages, according to Dias.
The investment appears to meet a top priority for the union, which was seeking a new product for the Windsor plant following the elimination amid slumping minivan segment sales.
The Windsor plant currently builds the Chrysler Pacifica and Voyager minivans, as well as the Grand Caravan for the Canadian market. The minivans will continue to be built alongside the vehicles on the new platform, according to the union.
"This is a huge commitment to our plant," Dias said. "It’s a huge commitment to our members. And this is, I would argue, a home run for the community of Windsor."
The automaker would only say it has reached a tentative agreement with Unifor and that further details will be provided at a later date.