FCA is spending $1 billion to retool and update its Warren Truck Assembly Plant in Michigan. That plant will build the Jeep Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer.
The investment money also goes to updated the Jeep plant in Toledo, OH to make a new Jeep pickup truck. This investment should add up to 2,000 jobs and it reaffirms FCA’s investment in North America.
“The conversion of our industrial footprint completes this stage of our transformation as we respond to the shift in consumer tastes to trucks and SUVs, and as we continue to reinforce the U.S. as a global manufacturing hub for those vehicles at the heart of the SUV and truck market,” said Sergio Marchionne, Chief Executive Officer of FCA N.V. “These moves, which have been under discussion with Dennis Williams and the rest of the UAW leadership for some time, expand our capacity in these key segments, enabling us to meet growing demand here in the U.S., but more importantly to increase exports of our mid-size and larger vehicles to international markets.
“The expansion of our Jeep lineup has been and continues to be the key pillar of our strategy. Our commitment to internationalize the Jeep brand is unwavering, and with these last moves, we will finally have the capacity to successfully penetrate markets other than the U.S. which have historically been denied product due to capacity constraints. In addition, these all-new products will reach new consumers, as well as those that have been part of the Jeep tradition,” said Marchionne.
We still have very little information on the Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer. After speculation that the Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer were shelved, this extra investment is welcome news.
It’s possible that we caught a glimpse of both vehicles recently, but we can’t say for sure. Jeep, and all of FCA, has been noticeably absent from the 2017 NAIAS. Some speculate that the next Jeep Wrangler, which was expected to debut at the 2017 NAIAS along with the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk, may be behind schedule.
Production delays are not uncommon for any automaker; however, the Jeep Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer were rumored dead altogether. This investment announcement is welcome news for Jeep fans. Hopefully, we’ll get additional updates at the 2017 Chicago Auto Show, 2017 Easter Jeep Safari and/or the 2017 New York Auto Show.