Detroit may be nicknamed Motown and be known worldwide as the heart of the American automotive industry, but today, there are only three auto manufacturing facilities that have part of their footprint within Detroit city limits, and just one major plant entirely within the city's borders. That plant is Chrysler's Jefferson North plant, the home of the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango SUVs.
Located on Detroit's east side, the plant is in the middle of a neglected, high-crime neighborhood, surrounded by numerous abandoned houses and boarded-up storefronts. But Jefferson North has defied the odds to become one of Chrysler's most productive plants, and a key profit source for the company. The plant employs 4600 workers, a third of whom live within Detroit proper.
New York Times writer Bill Vlasic has written a profile on the plant and its workers as a success story of the post-bailout Detroit and as an example of the nascent comeback in the embattled Midwestern industrial city, which still suffers from 16-percent unemployment and has recently gone into state-ordered emergency management.
The plant's success also defies convention by having a fully UAW represented workforce, and being located in a heavily pro-union state. The sparsely traveled streets surrounding the plant are actually beneficial in moving carrier trucks loaded with new cars out of the plant.
Chrysler also builds the SRT Viper in Detroit at the Conner Ave. assembly plant. The only other plant partially within the Detroit city limits is General Motors' Hamtramck plant, which builds the Chevrolet Volt, Malibu, and Impala, and will build the 2014 Cadillac ELR plug-in hybrid.
Source: New York Times