Fiat Chrysler Automobiles will reportedly retool an idled plant in its Mack Avenue Engine Complex located in Detroit to build a three-row version of the Jeep Grand Cherokee.
The information was first reported on Friday by The Detroit News, which cited multiple sources familiar with the matter. A formal announcement from FCA could come as early as this week.
The plant has been idled since 2012 and sits next to the Jefferson North Assembly Plant where the Grand Cherokee and related Dodge Durango are built. Under the alleged plans, Jefferson North, which is at over capacity at present (and thus running extra shifts), will build both two- and three-row Grand Cherokees.
Jeep 2022 roadmap
According to FCA's most recent plan for Jeep announced in June, a redesigned Grand Cherokee is due before 2022. It will be based on a modified version of the Alfa Romeo Stelvio's platform and feature advanced self-driving technology. The two-row version is expected to come earlier than the three-row. The Durango isn't expected to stick around once the Grand Cherokee is redesigned.
While the three-row Grand Cherokee will compete in the mid-size segment, Jeep will target buyers flush with cash with a full-size offering reviving the Wagoneer nameplate. The new Wagoneer, plus an extra-plush Grand Wagoneer, will be based on the body-on-frame platform shared with the latest Ram full-size pickup trucks. The Wagoneer duo will be built at the underutilized Warren Truck Assembly plant just north of Detroit, starting sometime before 2022.
News of the retooling of the idle Mack Avenue Engine Complex plant follows General Motors' announcement in late November that it will idle its Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly plant in 2019, along with six other plants around the globe. The decision spells the end of the line for several sedans built at the plants.