But the decisions are not related to Trump's recent criticisms, people familiar with company's moves said on Sunday. Specifically, plants in Warren, Michigan and Toledo, Ohio, will begin making the Jeep Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer and a Jeep pickup truck, respectively.
Fiat-Chrysler (FCA) said on Sunday that it plans to invest $1 billion in manufacturing plants in MI and OH, which the automaker said will create 2,000 jobs for American workers. "Thank you Ford & Fiat C!" The company's press release confirmed that its latest announcement is "c$3 onsistent and combined with previously announced investments", noting also that FCA US has invested over $9.6 billion in plants in various USA states, creating 25,000 jobs since 2009. Does it just make basic economic sense that the auto companies would be investing more and particularly investing more in the US market at this time regardless of who's president of the United States?
It's not entirely clear how much President-elect Trump and his tweets have to do with this timing; some of these "announcements" just added details to previously-announced plans. Overall, she said of Trump, "we have much more in common" than areas of disagreement.
"The sooner those new models will roll out of the factories, the better it is to support Fiat's mix and therefore margins", said Massimo Vecchio, an analyst at Mediobanca in Milan.
During his presidential campaign, Trump vowed to bring manufacturing jobs back to the USA and to prevent future jobs from going overseas. "Build plant in USA or pay big border tax" (ironically Trump tweeted the wrong location for the new Mexican plant and overlooked the fact that Corolla production was being moved from Ontario, not the US!). The move also comes in after Trump's recent criticism against the big USA automakers, shipping their vehicles from Mexico. "You're going to pay a very large border tax".
"This investment also includes our new headquarters in Plano and research into autonomous vehicles and robotics", Toyota spokeswoman Amanda Sawyer Roark said in an email to AFP.
As he prepares to take office later this month, Trump has used his Twitter account to take aim at auto makers, warning that they may face stiff import tariffs for selling cars made with foreign labor on the United States market.
Although Ford cancelled its new Mexican plant, it still intends to move some small auto production to an existing plant in Mexico to create room in its MI plant for more profitable SUVs and pick-up trucks.
President-elect Trump has repeatedly targeted the industry for doing some of its work in Mexico.
Fiat Chrysler so far has escaped Trump's Twitter wrath. "It wasn't a preemptive strike against a tweet", Marchionne said during a roundtable discussion.
In yesterday's press conference, Marchionne claimed that it is too soon to judge the new U.S. administration's trade policies.
In December, American air conditioner manufacturer Carrier backed off a planned transfer of 1,000 jobs to the Mexico, after a deal with Trump - and for $7 million in tax cuts.
Trump tweeted about the move, saying "It's finally happening".