More than 1,500 UAW-represented employees at Chrysler Group’s Jefferson North Assembly Plant in Detroit welcomed U.S. President Obama to the home of the all-new 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee today.
The President visited the plant a little more than a year after Chrysler emerged from bankruptcy because of billions of dollars in taxpayer support as part of his mid-term election year push to sell Democratic industrial policies to angry and skeptical voters.
Turin-based Fiat with the help of taxpayer money gained control of Chrysler in the process. Sergio Marchionne is now CEO of both groups.
During the visit, Marchionne announced that the nearby suburban Sterling Heights Assembly Plant (SHAP) would not be closed, as he originally said as part of Chrysler’s post-bankruptcy business plan, but rather it would stay open beyond 2012. A second shift of about 900 workers will also be added in early 2011. To support that operation, suppliers will add nearly 500 jobs it’s estimated.