Fiat Chrysler to lease facility in Michigan to serve production of new Jeep Wrangler

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is leasing property in Bedford Township to serve production of the new version of the Jeep Wrangler in Toledo.

Syncreon, an Auburn Hills logistics company, will operate the facility and is expected to hire more than 250 employees, including warehouse, forklift and commercial drivers. Details about the hiring process have not been released.

“The plan is for us to recruit probably a little over 250 people when we get up to full speed (in November), and we will be trucking parts from that site into the Toledo North Assembly Plant, sending about a dozen trucks every hour back and forth,” said Dave Phinn, Syncreon’s vice president of engineering and projects.

Phinn said the facility will serve production of the new version of the Jeep Wrangler at Toledo North. The new Wrangler, which is likely to be unveiled at this year’s Los Angeles Auto Show later this year, is one of several Jeep updates planned in coming years.

The property to be run by Syncreon is on Crabb Road between Telegraph and Sterns and about five miles from the Toledo plant. The Toledo Blade reported that the facility is a former Michelin Tire warehouse, and the lease is for 10 years.

“They needed a significant amount of space with plenty of dock doors and close to the assembly plant because everything we do is on a just-in-time basis so we have to be located a very short travel distance and drive distance from the plant,” Phinn said, noting that Syncreon serves most of FCA’s assembly plants.

Phinn said Syncreon accepts parts from suppliers and then prepares them for the assembly process.

Bedford Township Supervisor Paul Pirrone called the addition of the logistics facility a big win for the Monroe County community bordering Ohio.

“Man, what a home run this was … having Fiat Chrysler,” Pirrone said.

The township plans to spend about $300,000 to repair Crabb Road to accommodate the truck traffic, Pirrone said.

“The components they’re going to be putting on these semis are going to be pretty fragile, and they don’t want them falling off and being damaged,” Pirrone said.

A Fiat Chrysler spokeswoman directed questions about the facility to Syncreon.

25 July 2017 | Eric D. Lawrence | Detroit Free Press