By on September 17, 2015

2015 Ram 1500 Laramie Crew Cab 4x4 EcoDiesel

Ram production will be coming back to the United States and car production moving to FCA’s Mexican operations, Automotive News is reporting citing anonymous sources.

The news comes just days after FCA and the UAW tentatively agreed to a new national contract while locals continue to hammer out the finer details at the plant level. According to the report, there will also be some movement of products within U.S. borders between FCA plants.

The biggest change is something that’s been hinted at for a while — the full return of Ram 1500 production to the United States. Production of the pickup is currently split between Toluca, Mexico and Warren, Michigan. The report states Ram 1500 will move to Sterling Heights, Michigan, a plant currently occupied by the Chrysler 200.

Jeep Cherokee will reportedly move from Toledo, Ohio, a plant it currently shares with the Wrangler, to Belvidere, Illinois, a plant currently occupied by the Dodge Dart. The extra capacity at Toledo will allow it to produce more Wranglers and a new Wrangler-based pickup.

Now without a home, Chrysler 200 and Dodge Dart production will be shuttled off the Mexico. Toluca currently produces the Dodge Journey (unlikely to change) and Fiat 500, the latter of which will have its production centered at FCA’s Polish assembly plant that produces the same model. Ram 2500 and 3500 production will remain in Saltillo.

The exodus of Ram 1500 production in Warren leaves that plant to receive the future Jeep Grand Wagoneer — a new body-on-frame unibody, three-row, luxury SUV. That new model is expected to be a platform mate to the next Jeep Grand Cherokee, thus allowing Warren to handle overflow production for the Jefferson plant.

Not detailed in the report are the Jeep Compass/Patriot twins, a possible Chrysler 100 sedan and promised midsize and full-size Chrysler crossovers.

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57 Comments on “FCA-UAW Contract Sees Trucks Coming Home, Cars Going to Mexico...”


  • avatar
    highdesertcat

    Anonymous sources? For awhile there it was even money that car production would join Truck production outside the US, like in Canada and/or Mexico.

    This is clearly a win for the UAW because Truck production is coming back Home. The UAW is lucky and grateful they didn’t lose more jobs in the US.

    • 0 avatar
      360joules

      It makes the US workforce vulnerable to oil market shocks but makes sense for a lot of reasons listed below. Paying a bonus for fast ratification makes sense when all of this shuffling of production is anticipated.

      • 0 avatar
        Conslaw

        I agree, 360joules, not only does it make the US workforce vulnerable to oil market shocks, but it exacerbates political pressure to keep gas prices low in order to keep employment up. That of course does nothing good for our climate, air quality and energy independence. I’m not sure what we can do about it as a matter of policy. FCA and the rest are free to allocate their resources as they see fit.

  • avatar
    Compaq Deskpro

    “a new body-on-frame, three-row, luxury SUV. That new model is expected to be a platform mate to the next Jeep Grand Cherokee”

    Whoa, what? The GC is going to be body on frame?

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      Grand Wagoneer. The 2017 Durango, in its new incarnation.

      The Durango will be discontinued. The Grand Wagoneer will take its place.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      No. The Warren truck plant would be converted to unibody production and make the Wagoneer, and probably overflow JGC.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        No matter how it all settles out, the UAW came out of this smelling like a rose.

        The UAW got to keep more jobs in America than they would have under Sergio’s original plan of expanding globally.

        Clearly a huge win for the UAW.

        But the UAW members have to be bribed with a $3K kickback to accept the deal.

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      Well damn if FCA doesn’t still make surprises, grand wagoneer is going BOF afterall, Maybe the auto industry isn’t going to completely die to hideous crossovers.

      This is wonderful news, a unibody wagoneer would be as lame as 2WD wrangler in Moab.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        If it happens, the new Grand Wagoneer is going to be marginally bigger than the discontinued Durango, and nowhere near the old Grand Wagoneer we had for many years.

        • 0 avatar
          Hummer

          Ehh, who cares, the market is moving in the right direction, I just want to see GM be forced to pump the testosterone back into its full size line up.

          It’s really unbecoming to be driving a Vehicle with plastic bumpers.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            The 6.2L Silverado puts my 5.7L Tundra to shame under load, going up a mountain with a trailer in tow.

            That’s the reason my friend traded his 5.3L for a 6.2L.

            World of difference!

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        It’s not. This article misquotes the Automotive News article.

        “Warren Truck in Michigan would be retooled and converted from body-on-frame construction to unibody construction to eventually build the Jeep Grand Wagoneer, a three-row luxury SUV that seats eight.

        CEO Sergio Marchionne said earlier this summer that the Grand Wagoneer would share a platform with the next-generation Grand Cherokee. If that is the case, then Warren Truck could potentially also build two-row Grand Cherokees, if additional production is needed beyond the capacity of the Grand Cherokee’s home plant, Jefferson North Assembly in Detroit.”

  • avatar
    danio3834

    “Production of the pickup is currently split between Toluca, Mexico and Warren, Michigan.”

    “Ram 2500 and 3500 production will remain in Toluca.”

    The Mexican truck plant is in Saltillo.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Makes sense, trucks have a higher margin which can absorb UAW costs while cars get a boost to theirs through cheaper labor.

  • avatar
    Clueless Economist

    Makes sense for FCA to produce all trucks in the USA since truck buyers tend to have a preference for American-made trucks. Doesn’t really matter where the Dart and 200 are made, the buyers of those cares are only buying on how deep the discounts are and where they can get their sub-prime loan. FCA is doing whatever necessary to move those off the dealer lots. Maybe Mexico-made 200s and Darts will be cheaper to build so they might be able to make a few dollars profit of each one sold.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      Clueless Economist,
      Well, the US pickup truck consumer really doesn’t have much choice in where the truck they buy comes from.

      What country other than a NAFTA country can the trucks come from? Manufacturers other than the big three are more or less locked out of the US pickup market due to the ridiculous 25% import tariff, called the Chicken Tax.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        This is misleading. The only “trucks” coming back to the USA are the 1500’s. The HD’s will continue to be Hecho en Mexico. “All trucks” would include HD’s.

        It makes sense financially to shift low profit low margin cars to Mexico and high profit high margin 1/2 ton trucks and SUV’s to the USA.

        The UAW saves jobs but this shows once again how masterful Marchionne is at negotiating. 2 Tier wages stay with a long ramp up for narrowing the gap and and a shift of more profitable products to a less profitable environment.

  • avatar
    VoGo

    FCA is moving pickup production home? You mean to the Netherlands? or to London? Italy?

    Oh, you mean ‘home’ as in the fiction that FCA uses to sell more vehicles to gullible Americans. I get it.

    • 0 avatar
      jthorner

      I wonder how many people realize that Budweiser, Coors and Miller beers, Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, and Bayer aspirin are all owned by non-US based companies? Heck, even the TV show “American Idol” is owned by German media conglomerate Bertelsmann.

      The whole notion of nation-based enterprises is really over.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        Yeah, and now Molson-Coors, SAB-Miller and AB-InBev are trying to consolidate because they’re losing sales in the good ‘ol USofA.

        Who didn’t see that coming? Once Americans catch on to the fact that Bud, Coors, and Miller are no longer American, they change to brews that matter.

        Make mine a Jim Koch’s Sam Adams. Brewed by Americans in America, for Americans.

        • 0 avatar
          wmba

          3G Capital, a Brazilian company owns Anheuser Busch, Miller as of today, Coors, Labatt, Fosters, most European beers, Kraft, Heinz, Burger King and worst of all, Tim Hortons. Berkshire Hathaway helped out on the Kraft and Heinz deal. 3G Capital is worth $187 Billion, according to Bloomberg.

          FCA spent $800 million on the Chrysler 200 Sterling Heights paintshop. Why waste the money? Let’s paint trucks instead.

          http://www.allpar.com/corporate/factories/SHAP-2014.html

          Here’s a telling statement from that page: “It is so flexible that it could paint Chrysler Group’s entire product line with the exception of its truck models and commercial vans.”

          So where’s the money coming from to make it truck compatible?

          Marchionne, man on a deluded move.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            So does this mean that InBev, a Belgian concern, and South African Breweries (SAB), and Molson, a Canadian company have been taken over by 3G Capital of Brazil?

            I missed that.

        • 0 avatar
          Roberto Esponja

          Amen highdesertcat!

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        ‘Where’ Ram, F-series, Silverado/Sierra pickups are built is kind of a big deal. Never mind that Tundras and Titans are built in the US. We’re not talking beer, aspirin or bad TV shows. Nor where their parent companies are based.

        Or would Mexico built Mustangs and Corvettes be OK with buyers of those?

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          “‘Where’ Ram, F-series, Silverado/Sierra pickups are built is kind of a big deal.”

          I don’t know, since up to now “where” they were built has not affected sales.

          I remember people commenting who had a Silverado made in Canada, or an Avalanche Hecho en Mexico.

          Didn’t stop them from buying them.

          Ditto Fords.

        • 0 avatar
          bikegoesbaa

          “Or would Mexico built Mustangs and Corvettes be OK with buyers of those?”

          Buyers seem to be OK with Canadian Camaros.

          Most people I talk to don’t even know where their vehicle was made; they certainly don’t care.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            If it’s a random car just to get ‘to and from’, no one cares if it’s made by ISIS. But Canada gets a *pass*. It’s barely a foreign land.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        jthorner – there are those that still cling to the notion of “Buy USA”. That is especially true in the truck ranks. I’ve been on truck blogs where owners of Hecho en Mexico Ram trucks slag USA built Tundra owners. The logic is truly mind-blowing.

  • avatar
    GermanReliabilityMyth

    I wonder if the Hemi V8 will still be produced in Saltillo. In which case, congrats to the “American-made” truck buyers, your rig is only assembled in the US but still wears a Hemi sombrero.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      GermanReliabilityMyth,
      Even with the upturn in the production numbers of vehicles in the US, the number of auto workers haven’t increased very much. I suppose Ford did employ a few extra thousand workers to build less aluminium F-150s.

      US vehicle production is better stated vehicle assembly as most components and parts are sourced from Mexico and China.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    It’s an insult, besides all else, for *any* Ram pickups to be built anywhere except the US. They’re by far FCA’s most profitable ‘cars’ anyway. But the only 1/2 ton Rams built in Mexico are regular cabs.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      Insult?

      Then if the US built Ram is so good why the reliability issues?

      Our Chinese pickups don’t have the issues FCA products do.

      • 0 avatar
        Whatnext

        Your Chinese pick-up love you long time?

      • 0 avatar
        Whatnext

        So much for building an ad campaign around Imported from Detroit.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        Chinese pickups are hardly under the scrutiny of American consumers or NHTSA, but there’s little doubt they’d get put back on the boat they came in on. Plus ‘junk value’ instead of resale value if they stayed.

        Why didn’t you buy one??

        But there’s absolutely no quality/reliability issues necessarily with Mexico assembly. That’s not what we were referring to anyway.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          DenverMike,
          Why didn’t I buy one???? My comment had nothing to do with your over statement.

          The same reason I didn’t buy a Ram or another FCA product (any product with Chrysler in the title).

          The only Chinese pickup I would consider is the Foton Tunland, the one with the ISF Cummins. That does look like a good pickup.

          Chrysler from what I can gather can only manufacture inconsistent quality vehicles.

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    The concepts above make very good sense for the company, as the products that make the most profits can themselves profit from the experience the UAW can bring into them while the low-profit models need to be built where overall costs are lower, allowing them to perhaps improve on profit margins while also putting similar platforms closer together to improve on material costs.

    Not mentioned above, but those same sources also note that Jeep Wrangler production would be moved into the plant currently assembling the Cherokee, while the current Wrangler plant would pick up a Jeep pickup–with a possible additional, perhaps compact, truck in the lineup.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    I don’t see this as a bonus.

    What vehicle is the most impacted due to oil price movement and economic anomalies?

    The pickup.

    I bet my balls when the sh!t sooner or later hits the fan with oil prices and an economic downturn the UAW will expect no workers to be laid off, or given an unrealistic redundancy.

    To few eggs in the one basket. Diversification of vehicle manufacturing is required and the removal of the chicken tax to allow the importation of more pickups will create a better vehicle manufacturing sector in the US.

    Then what happens when the chicken tax is eventually removed??

    Hmmm……………..another potentially poor and short term look at the world by the UAW.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      I actually agree with you. It is great in the short term for the UAW, but what happens when gas goes to $5 again?

      I worry less about the chicken tax. We are going to get cars built in new markets in SE Asia before trucks.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      @BAFO – It’s unclear why you insist removing the chicken tax will bring a tidal wave of global pickups. Likely not many. It’s even less clear why you think fullsize pickup sales will suffer. They will cannibalize many segments, least of which will be fullsize pickups.

      High fuel prices in the past have had negligible impact on fullsize pickup sales. Many that did step down to a midsize vehicle quickly found it hardly worth it. Others experienced worse fuel economy, than their fullsize, Not to mention making more trips to accomplish the same task.

      With an economic downturn, what can be done? For now, might as sell as many mid level to luxury fullsize pickups as consumers want, or can stand. What’s a better way to prepare for a downturn than cash in the bank plus assets? Then adjust the products accordingly, Focus/Fiesta pickups and whatnot, if necessary. We could all be riding Mopeds anyway.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        DenverMike,
        Are you trolling again???

        Read my comment, where do I state “tidal wave” of imports???

        Hmmmm…….and some wonder why you’ve been branded DiM.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          Why would anything less than a tidal wave impact fullsize pickups, or the market in general? If it’s an amount hardly worth mentioning, why bring them up constantly. Point is you won’t own a Chinese pickup, nor would anyone you know.

          By the way, the ’80s Mini-Truck Craze was exactly a tidal wave but wasn’t hardly felt by fullsize pickups.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      @Big Aluminum
      Diversification at least on paper sounds great but the so called domestic auto companies have to try to sell to a consumer base that wants and expects larger vehicles.
      If one looks at the Top Sellers in the USA for 2014, we see full sized pickups holding 1st,2nd,and 3rd. 4th,5th,and 7th are “larger” cars. Expand that to Top 30 and we see a few larger SUVs and one more large pickup brand.

      Either way one slices it, the UAW will face issues if the economy worsens but then again that applies equally to every other sector in the USA.

      The removal of the chicken tax will help the consumer that still has money but not domestic (built in the USA) auto production.

      There should be open competition in all markets but since the future President of the USA wants to prove he actually is a Republican, he will become isolationistic. He already said that he will make the rest of the world respect the USA again.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        ” since the future President of the USA wants to prove he actually is a Republican, he will become isolationistic.”

        There will not be a Republican POTUS in 2017. What I see in my crystal ball, as an Independent, is a Joe Biden/Hilary Clinton ticket and many Independents like myself will support that along with all Democrats.

        There aren’t enough Republicans in America to elect one of their own, unless they can get a huge Independent turn-out to support that candidate. And that ain’t gonna happen with the lot on the podium yesterday.

        The Republicans have nothing. No candidate. No platform. No direction. The Democrats today are no better.

        Biden has to step in to seal the deal for the Democrats because no Democrat can swallow Bernie.

        Mark my words. It WILL affect the US auto industry. You read it here first.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          highdesertcat – I doubt the next President will be the “Comb-Over in Chief”.
          The next President will be a Bush unless she does “Brazilian” ;)

          I was expecting Aluminum Al to bite on that one.

          Who knows, “Comb-over in Chief” has a nice ring to it. LOL

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          I’m beginning to think a Biden/Sanders ticket will be the winner. Sanders tends to make incredible sense and doesn’t seem as “extremist” as some consider Clinton to be.

          Not saying I will vote for him in the primaries though–I’m stuck with trying to figure out which clown is the least ridiculous on the other side of the aisle.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            Vulpine- It is sad when the selection process shifts to “which one is the least ridiculous”.

            The thing that makes it even more pathetic is people will vote for the “Comb over in Chief” just because they think “any Republican” is better than “any Democrat”.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Funny thing about that, Lou. I knew about Trump long before he became what he is now. I used to live less than 30 miles from Dalton, Ga, where he ‘found’ Ivana. Even then, I made myself a promise I would have nothing to do with ANYTHING he did in the future. I certainly pray the Republican voter realizes just how bad he is before it’s too late.

  • avatar
    Lorenzo

    You may have to wait a decade or more to see $5 gas (outside of California) with all the new oil coming to market. Another downturn would kill demand and oil prices along with it. You’re all VERY premature in the Presidential Sweepstakes. Nobody in either party has nailed down anything yet, the first primary is five months away, and the delegate-rich primaries months after that. If Hillary loses front-runner status (and Obama could make her twist in the wind legally), both nominations could be up for grabs.

    Don’t forget, Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush, Mitt Romney, John McCain, Al Gore, John Kerry, even Mike Dukakis, are all still eligible to run and have experience running for President, and don’t rule out Jerry Brown either. Anybody know what Ross Perot and Steve Forbes are up to? How about another billionaire like Bill Gates, Paul Allen, Larry Page, Jeff Bezos, or Larry Ellison jumping in?

    Okay, a few are too old, and some are too smart (that’s the problem with the process – people smart enough to do a good job are too smart to run), but with no incumbent running, anything can happen!

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