By on September 12, 2016

2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Exterior-015

Jeep’s upcoming Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer SUVs promise to make the high-flying brand plenty of moolah, but where exactly the top-shelf models will be built remains hazy.

Automotive News reports that Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne might backtrack on a tentative plan to build the models at the Warren Truck plant — a move that could impact the production of other models.

FCA has already spent significant cash shuffling U.S. Jeep and Ram production in a bid to maximize output and sales of its most popular models. The Depression-era Warren plant would need significant upgrades to prepare it for production of a unibody model.

The automaker recently offered up $1.5 billion to move Ram production from Warren to nearby Sterling Heights.

According to the report, Marchionne told workers at Sterling Heights that he hopes to “continue to utilize Warren in a significant way,” but added that the facility is “a very old plant … that needs significant investment.”

Reportedly, Marchionne recently paid a visit to the Jefferson North Assembly plant in Detroit. That facility has built the Jeep Grand Cherokee since its birth. With the Grand Cherokee’s platform underpinning the Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer, it seems like a likely candidate, though moving the models there could displace the Dodge Durango if capacity becomes an issue.

If FCA punts Durango production in favor of more lucrative offerings, the SUV needs a new home. Unless, of course, Marchionne is willing to shrink the Dodge brand by another model or expand Jefferson North.

The luxury Jeep Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer are expected to appear as 2019 models.

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22 Comments on “Upcoming Jeep Luxury SUVs Looking for a Home: Report...”


  • avatar
    JustPassinThru

    Build ’em in CHINA!

    NO capital expenditure. No UAW payscale. Nope, just a per-piece cost; and an ABSOLUTE IRONCLAD GUARANTEE by the PRC PLA Industrial Commissar.

    That should have Fiatsler back in the black in about three years…if the FED cooperates with ZIRP-NIRP and if enough bankster buyers can be found who’re in love with Mall-Rated slat-grilles…

    • 0 avatar
      Asdf

      And no sales, since nobody in the US will buy a Jeep made in China.

      • 0 avatar
        JustPassinThru

        Never say none.

        The buyers of today’s Jeeps are not the buyers of F150s or Rams. They’re the Yuppies of this age…the very-young, very rich moneychangers who work at various financial houses. They have no less regard for Chinese workers than they do for their alleged fellow Americans, the “Muppets” they fleece with their financial bubble-games.

        So…so long as it has the magic four-letter word on the grille and flanks…it’ll sell. I’d never have thought, years ago, that a Fiat Jeep would sell, either…but look at them move.

        • 0 avatar
          JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

          The Fiat and Diamler Jeeps are better than the Mitsubishi Jeeps, but its the American Jeep, the Wrangler, that embodies the whole brand. Its not their best seller, and it doesn’t have to be, it’s what the brand’s image represents.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        Asdf,
        What percentage of an American “manufactured” Jeep is from China, Mexico, etc?

        I don’t think most who buy vehicles really care. Some do, but they represent a tiny portion of the populace.

        If what you stated were true, TVs, fridges, most things would not be imported from China.

        The reality is China does build products with a quality most will live with. If not China would not be a large exporter of consumer goods.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    I think the Durango can just die when these new ones come on the scene. They’ll have higher profit margins, and the Durango being on / associated with the Dodge brand is a negative as they continue to shrink the relevance of said brand.

    I always picture a CEO visit to a plant like something from a North Korean news agency report. The Dear Leader walks in on a specially laid out carpet, as freshly scrubbed workers display their work ethic in starched overalls and safety goggles. His minions cluck about him in circular fashion, as he meets with selected dignitary from the office above the shop floor.

    *Tres will be around shortly to tell me that’s not how it goes.*

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      I think the Durango can just die when these new ones come on the scene…

      NO NO NO NO NO NO NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

      As a consumer and potential customer I need a $30K to $45K Durango to exist below the $50K to $??K Grand Wagoneer.

      Tahoe and Suburban won’t cut it. Space utilization in the Tahoe sucks (especially with the 3rd row) and the Suburban is too damn expensive.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        Flip the third row up if you need more space in the Tahoe, duh!

        How’s this:

        Major restyle for the Durango to get rid of the low-rent racetrack lights, and then move it to the Jeep brand.

        Call it the Tomahawk or whatever.

        • 0 avatar
          PrincipalDan

          Major restyle for the Durango to get rid of the low-rent racetrack lights, and then move it to the Jeep brand.

          BTW have you ever sat in the 3rd row of a Tahoe? I have and I’d take the 3rd row of my Highlander any day.

          Well if we could still get “base” SUVs this would all be moot for a guy like me. I know only about maybe 3 customers on the whole planet fall into this category but I miss the “handyman” special versions of the BOF beasts.

          Heck the revised DI 4.3 V6 is kissing 300 hp, I’ll even take a V6 Tahoe with non-slip coating for a floor and thick vinyl on the seats. As long as there are rear AC vents it’s all good.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            You sound like the customer for a base model 2012 Pathfinder S 4×4.

            Cause that crap is pretty basic.

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            I still can’t figure out why GM insists on keeping a live axle setup on the K2XX SUVs.

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            @DrZhivago138

            Because then GM Fanboys can continue to tell Ford owners how wussy their SUVs are.

            BTW these are the same Fanboys who made fun of Mustang owners until the Mustang got an IRS.

    • 0 avatar

      The Durango is my favorite SUV. They need to bring out an SRT version, and a Hellcat version to keep within the Dodge “performance positioning”.

  • avatar

    They squandered an awful lot of money retooling Sterling Heights for the slow selling 200, now they have to retool it again just a couple of years later for RAM pickups production. Big, big waste of money. No wonder they are rethinking the Warren truck idea.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    Jeep with a luxury product?

    I don’t think Jeep would be perceived in Australia as a luxury product, especially when all of FCA products here take on the Koreans in pricing and Jeep is a long way off with quality.

    Jeep is a “cheap” entry vehicle here, even the Grand Cherokee is one of the or the cheapest 4×4 SUV.

    Hyundai will make a better perceived luxury product than Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Ram, etc.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

      Well, since the Australian market is so huge and typical of the rest of the world, I guess they’ll have to scrap this idea and come up with another that meets your approval.

  • avatar
    RobertRyan

    @Big Al from Oz
    Agree this will only sell in NA where over 80% of Jeeps are sold. Elsewhere luxury SUV’s by other manufacturers will be the benchmark. Jeep has an appalling reputation for reliability

  • avatar
    s_a_p

    Here in the states the grand Cherokee is a sleeper lux suv. I recently got an GC Srt and it’s about as nice as what I cross shopped it with. I was considering an x5 q7 or fpace. The jeep got me more “luxury” features for the same money and 475hp. I would have had to have vinyl seats and a twin turbo 6 in the x5 and Audi wasn’t discounting the q7 even a penny. I like that I fly under the radar with my GC with all but a select group of car nerds

  • avatar
    seanx37

    The thing is..the Warren plant is OLD. But I live in Warren, not that far from the plant. There are an awful lot of people around here dependent on that plant. Hell, my neighbor works there. Losing that plant would be a massive hurt on the local economy.

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