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A Fiat Chrysler subsidiary is investing up to $12.6 million to expand its facilities in Auburn Hills.

Magneti Marelli Holding USA LLC, an Italian company that designs and produces high-tech systems and components for automobiles, plans to grow its North American headquarters and hire up to 106 new people, following approval Tuesday of a state grant.

The Corbetta, Milan-based supplier plans to construct new laboratories and add machinery to its locations in Auburn Hills. It also anticipates exploring opportunities to move into a larger facility to accommodate all employees under one roof.

The Michigan Economic Development Corp. approved a $1.6 million Michigan Business Development Program grant for the project.

In October, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV agreed to sell Magneti Marelli SpA to KKR & Co. Inc.’s Calsonic Kansei Corp. for 6.2 billion euros ($7.1 billion). The deal, expected to close early this year, creates one of the world's largest automotive supply companies.

Magneti Marelli's expansion plans come as Fiat Chrysler is preparing to increase its plant capacity to make way for new profit-rich SUVs.

FCA CEO Michael Manley told The Detroit News during the North American International Auto Show that he is in the final stages of reviewing investment plans that likely would expand production of the next-generation Jeep Grand Cherokee at a revived Mack II engine plant in Detroit, assign production of the full-size Jeep Grand Wagoneer to Warren and more.

Magneti Marelli has 86 manufacturing plants, 12 research and development centers and 26 application facilities in 19 countries. It supplies all leading carmakers in Europe, North and South America, and Asia.

bnoble@detroitnews.com

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