Others in attendance included UAW President Bob King, Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel, Sterling Heights Mayor Richard Notte, other community leaders and employees.
“The revitalization of SHAP is an apt symbol of how far Chrysler has come because of the courage and resilience of our people,” said Marchionne. “This plant was scheduled to close by the end of 2010. But the workers and the leaders of this community refused to accept this verdict as final.”
“This celebration has been a long time coming for the workforce here at Sterling Heights,” said King. “They have proven that American autoworkers lead the world in building quality products. What has been achieved here is a testament to the collaborative spirit that exists between the UAW and Chrysler.”
“We are here today because so many of you believed that the only difference between the possible and the impossible is that the impossible has never been done before,” Marchionne told the employees. “At the end of the day, our decision to invest in SHAP came down to the level of commitment shown by each of you that works here. You have demonstrated a passion to deliver great products for our customers.”
“Your resolve has set an inspiring example for everyone at Chrysler, showing what can happen when you find the strength and courage to fight for something worthwhile,” he said. “I’m proud to be associated with you, and to be on this exciting journey with you. A journey of continued growth that will secure jobs and make a positive contribution to the communities where we live and work. I, too, am a believer.”
With 2 new facilities, the plant is now one of the most flexible with nearly 5 million square feet of manufacturing space. SHAP is now capable of building multiple vehicles on two unique architectures. With Chrysler 200 launch, SHAP has been able to add another 800 jobs as a result. Total employment at SHAP has grown to nearly 2,800, more than double what it was in 2009.