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Stamp of Approval: FCA US Invests $166 Million in Sterling Stamping Plant as it Celebrates 50 Years

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AUBURN HILLS, Mich., July 9, 2015 /PRNewswire/ --  

  • Investment provides needed upgrades to 50-year-old facility to meet increased demand
  • Parts from three new press lines to begin supplying seven U.S., Mexican and Canadian assembly plants by Q4 2015
  • Total investments in U.S. facilities grow to more than $5.7 billion since June 2009

FCA US LLC confirmed today that it is investing more than $166 million in three new press lines at its Sterling Stamping Plant, located in Sterling Heights, Mich., to support increased product demand. The new press lines - already under construction - are expected to begin production in the fourth quarter of 2015 and will reach full volume in the first half of 2016.

The investment comes as the facility celebrates 50 years of producing body panels and assemblies for some of the Company's most popular vehicles like the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Ram Truck.

"In response to the increased demand for our products, it was crucial to make an investment where the manufacturing process starts," said Brian Harlow, Vice President - Manufacturing, FCA - North America. "As the Company's second stamping plant investment in a year, this funding will allow the Sterling Stamping Plant to maintain the quality and speed necessary to continue supporting our manufacturing operations."

The investment includes the purchase and installation of two extra-large High Speed Servo Tandem press lines (each 180 inches) and one large Servo Progressive press line. In total, the three presses will increase the number of stampings produced each day by nearly 75,000 or 20 million a year. Currently, Sterling Stamping produces 62 million stampings annually.

The new Servo Tandem Presses will improve reliability and maintainability, while at the same time reducing energy usage and increasing output rate. The press' servo drive allows for 100 percent programmable control and movement of the ram speed at any position in the press stroke unlike a mechanical press that operates at a fixed speed. The Tandem Press is multiple presses in line in series, under which a single die is positioned in each press to perform an incremental function to make the stamped part. A Progressive Press is a single press with one slide in which a single die with an unlimited number of operations produces parts at a high speed directly from a single coil of steel.

Recognized as the largest stamping plant in the world, Sterling Stamping is one of six facilities in the FCA North American family that stamps and sub-assembles parts from sheet metal, including hoods, roofs, liftgates, side apertures, fenders and floor pans. Those parts are then shipped to several of the Company's U.S., Mexican and Canadian facilities to be welded and assembled together to form the bodies of such vehicles as:
 

  • Dodge Grand Caravan; Chrysler Town & Country - Windsor (Ont.) Assembly Plant
  • Dodge Dart; Jeep® Compass; Jeep Patriot - Belvidere (Ill.) Assembly Plant
  • Dodge Durango; Jeep Grand Cherokee - Jefferson North (Detroit) Assembly Plant
  • Chrysler 200 - Sterling Heights (Mich.) Assembly Plant
  • Jeep Cherokee - Toledo (Ohio) Assembly Complex
  • Ram Trucks - Warren (Mich.) and Saltillo (Mexico) Truck Assembly Plants 

Sterling Stamping's first parts were produced in January 1965. The plant is currently home to nearly 2,300 employees.

"Fifty years of pride, honor and commitment make Sterling Stamping employees among the best in the business," said Lance Schwartz, Plant Manager – Sterling Stamping, FCA US. "With this investment, we will continue to support the Company by providing the framework for the vehicles our customers love to drive."

Today, Sterling Stamping has 17 lines of major Stamping Presses, three Progressive Presses and three Blankers*, ranging from 400 to 4,000 ton capacity, totaling 89 presses. These presses supply Sterling Stamping's internal sub-assembly welding shop which is comprised of individual lines that are equipped with more than 720 total robots. The facility currently processes more than 500,000 tons of steel and 14,000 tons of aluminum annually.

In June 2014, FCA US, formerly Chrysler Group, confirmed an investment of $63 million in its Warren (Mich.) Stamping Plant to expand capacity at the facility. With this announcement, FCA US has announced investments of more than $5.7 billion and added nearly 30,000 new jobs (including more than 15,000 hourly) since June 2009.

*A blanker is a coil fed press that shears or trims aluminum or steel coil into individual blanks (rectangular cutoffs or special shapes) that are stacked and used in forming our stampings, as run in individual stamping press lines. 

About FCA US LLC

FCA US LLC is a North American automaker with a new name and a long history. Headquartered in Auburn Hills, Michigan, FCA US is a member of the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. (FCA) family of companies. FCA US designs, engineers, manufactures and sells vehicles under the Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Ram and FIAT brands as well as the SRT performance vehicle designation. The company also distributes the Alfa Romeo 4C model and Mopar products. FCA US is building upon the historic foundations of Chrysler, the innovative American automaker first established by Walter P. Chrysler in 1925; and Fiat, founded in Italy in 1899 by pioneering entrepreneurs, including Giovanni Agnelli.

FCA, the seventh-largest automaker in the world based on total annual vehicle sales, is an international automotive group. FCA is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "FCAU" and on the Mercato Telematico Azionario under the symbol "FCA."

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SOURCE FCA US LLC

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