October 4, 2023

Jeep maker Stellantis NV is seeking the unilateral right to sell its Auburn Hills headquarters and technical center, one of 18 facilities it has proposed it could sell or close as a part of its latest offer to the United Auto Workers, according to two sources familiar with the information.

The right to sell the transatlantic automaker’s North American headquarters that features Chrysler’s Pentastar logo doesn’t mean the automaker is abandoning Auburn Hills, according to one of the sources who requested anonymity without permission to speak publicly on the topic, but it would offer the company flexibility and options for the future of the 500-acre campus that includes labs, engineering facilities and design studios in a hybrid workplace. For example, it could sell the property and lease it back.

Stellantis is seeking the right to sell its Auburn Hills campus as a part of negotiations with the United Auto Workers.

The proposal was included in Stellantis’ fourth counteroffer to the union on Thursday evening before it declared a strike at the Jeep Wrangler and Gladiator plant in Toledo, Ohio, alongside Ford Motor Co.’s Bronco and Ranger plant in Wayne and General Motors Co.’s Wentzville midsize pickup and commercial van plant outside St. Louis.

Steven Summers, (l), 60, of Wayne, with other UAW workers, attempts to block a semi-trailer from entering the Ford Michigan Assembly plant they eventually let the truck by. Ford Michigan Assembly. September 18, 2023, Wayne, MI. (Clarence Tabb Jr./The Detroit News)

The UAW represents salaried employees at the Auburn Hills headquarters. As a result, the union would have to agree to the proposal to allow Stellantis to sell the site that formerly served as Chrysler LLC’s world headquarters.

In a late Monday statement, Auburn Hills Mayor Kevin McDaniel said: “We are proud to be the home of the Stellantis North America Headquarters. As Stellantis stands as the largest employer in our thriving community, we recognize the importance of addressing recent reports surrounding the closure of 18 U.S. facilities. To date, we have received no indications or information suggesting that Stellantis intends to shut down its headquarters in our city.”

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