STLA exporting engineering (and Jeep marketing releases)

Two official press releases on trivial marketing changes to Jeeps coincided with a report in Automotive News which confirms rumors that as engineering jobs are cut in Auburn Hills, new ones are being added in Brazil and India at somewhat lower salaries.

tuscadero jeep wrangler

The Automotive News report claims that most of Stellantis’ new engineering jobs are in low-income countries such as Morocco, India, and Brazil, where the cost per employee is cited as being around $53,000 per year, far less than in Paris, Turin, or Detroit. The report notes that this is not unique to Stellantis, citing BMW as another example, but claims that the French-Italian-American combine is “among the more aggressive.” Most worrying to current staff, the article claims that Stellantis intends to have ⅔ of its engineers in low-cost countries in the long run.

Including benefits, the article’s sources claimed that annual compensation for engineers in the US and France is around $150,000 to $200,000. One driver for this is the need to compete with Chinese players who are expanding into Europe and North and South America.  The story also noted that Tavares’ cost cuts in plants have led to workers complaining of unsanitary conditions, insufficient heat, and lack of needed supplies—the same complaints that are leading to a strike vote at the Sterling Heights stamping plant.

The report comes on the same day as a press release, breathless and full of over-the-top language in a way that rarely comes out when the company announces a true breakthrough, notes that a Wrangler color will be optional on Jeep Gladiators in the US and Canada. Tuscadero is “the audacious, deep and intense chromatic magenta.”  A second press release describes a line of four Jeep-themed watches from Marathon.

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