Many of 1,050 production jobs will be filled, for the first time in years, from candidates "off the street." New workers will be paid at a second-tier rate under the United Auto Workers contract that pays $14.65 an hour and is to be renegotiated this fall. Chrysler spokesman Jodi Tinson said the automaker has no laid-off hourly workers with recall rights nationally who could bump to the Toledo plant, although there are about 70 workers from Toledo North still laid off.
All hiring at the complex will be done through Chrysler's Web site, Chryslercareers.com. But the company will not take applications for any new jobs until positions are posted at a later date, Ms. Tinson said.
Many of the products that will roll off local assembly lines will be shipped overseas as Chrysler and its Italian partner, Fiat SpA, leverage their worldwide dealer network to boost sales of Jeep -- their most popular single brand, and the one most closely associated with the city of Toledo for the last 70 years.
New jobs likely will come to the complex in waves. First will be construction jobs as the automaker expands Toledo North's body shop, adds an improved welding facility, and upgrades its existing body, trim, paint, and materials handling operations by adding equipment to improve productivity.
New production jobs will follow several months later with a second shift addition at Toledo North, which will build a successor to the Jeep Liberty, along with what could be three or more similar vehicles. As Chrysler adds its second shift of 1,050 jobs at Toledo North, several suppliers to the complex -- including Johnson Controls Inc., Faurecia Inc., and Decoma Systems -- are expected to boost production and jobs, enhancing the impact on the local economy.
A potential third shift could emerge if the automaker returns Toledo North to three shifts a day, a work level not seen since 2007.
Chrysler said in state filings that it expects Toledo North to produce up to 327,000 vehicles annually, compared to the plant's 2010 production of 91,973 vehicles.
Not for Wrangler
The application with the city does not mention additional work at the complex's Wrangler plant, which is struggling to meet demand for the iconic vehicle that had its highest-ever sales month in July.
Chrysler officials, including Jeep brand President Michael Manley and Mr. Marchionne, have expressed concern Wrangler demand could surpass the plant's production capacity of about 155,000 vehicles per year, meaning further expansion could be forthcoming.
At 482,000 units a year, the Toledo Assembly complex could have a higher output than both Ford Motor Co.'s Kansas City Assembly Plant, which made 436,355 trucks and SUVs in 2010, and Volkswagen AG's plant in Puebla, Mexico, which built 434,771 cars last year.
The world's largest assembly plant is Hyundai's complex in Ulsan, South Korea, which can produce up to 1.6 million vehicles a year.
Analysts associated with the Chrysler-centric Web site Allpar.com believe six or more vehicles soon will roll from the Toledo Assembly complex: two-door and four-door Wrangler models, a new Jeep Liberty, a Chrysler-badged crossover and a Lancia-badged version of the same vehicle for export, and a new Alfa Romeo SUV.
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