By on October 10, 2016

FCA Sterling Heights

There’s more than just Ram 1500 production coming to Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ Sterling Heights assembly plant.

According to planning documents, the Michigan facility will gain a test track as part of its $1.48 billion overhaul, The Detroit News reports.

Not much is known about the new addition, only that it comes with a price tag of $5.8 million. That figure covers construction of both the track and its enclosure. The track’s size is limited by the plant’s urban footprint, and rigorous testing remains the responsibility of FCA’s sprawling Chelsea Proving Grounds, as well as its Arizona and Florida test properties.

Before upgrades begin, the automaker hopes to secure a tax abatement deal with the city of Sterling Heights. City council meets tomorrow night to vote on the potential deal, valued at $23.3 million over 12 years. FCA claims it needs the tax abatement to help it invest in “future truck products.”

The top-to-bottom plant revamp comes after FCA moved production of the next-generation 2019 Ram 1500 from its Warren assembly plant to the almost vacant Sterling Heights. Production of the slow-selling Chrysler 200, which proved so unpopular that FCA was forced to lay off workers, ends in December.

The automaker is reportedly scrambling to prevent any further delays to the Ram’s timeline. As it stands, the first prototype should appear the same month as the start of production.

FCA recently collected a $4.6 million grant from the Michigan Strategic Fund to hire an extra 700 workers at the plant.

[Image: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles]

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