Fiat Chrysler Ponies up $1 Billion to Make Grand Wagoneer, Jeep Pickup Possible

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
fiat chrysler ponies up 1 billion to make grand wagoneer jeep pickup possible

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has announced funding for the last piece of the Jeep production puzzle.

The automaker will spend $1 billion to retool its Toledo and Warren assembly plants in anticipation of three new models, capping off a spending spree that made this round of production plant musical chairs possible.

FCA needs to unload the cash in order to keep the Jeep Wranger pickup, Wagoneer and ultra-lux Grand Wagoneer in the production pipeline.

The funds will see the Warren Truck Plant and Toledo Assembly Complex retooled and modernized to handle the new vehicles. While the 2018 Wrangler is already bound for the Toledo plant with cash in hand, the future pickup can’t be built on the production line vacated by the Belvidere, Illinois-bound Cherokee without a switch to body-on-frame capability.

At Warren, two models in search of a home will finally be able to put down roots. The Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer are tapped to fill out the upper echelon of Jeep’s lineup. Whether or not the Grand Wagoneer flirts with a $140,000 price ceiling remains to be seen, but at least there’s no longer a scramble to find assembly plants with excess capacity (or money).

“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,” said FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne in a statement.

The upgrades should be in place by 2020, which gives some idea of when production can commence. Roughly 2,000 jobs should be created from the investments, which will also allow Warren to build heavy-duty Ram pickups.

[Image: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles]

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  • Moff90 Moff90 on Jan 09, 2017

    $1 billion investment and 2,000 new jobs? Clearly a sign that FCA will die in the next six months, amirite?

    • See 2 previous
    • Heavy handle Heavy handle on Jan 09, 2017

      @JimZ Are they behind? The Pacifica Hybrid is looking like the best hybrid yet from the Big 3, by a wide margin. I could see an all-electric Pacifica selling well. Last I heard they were making money in all geographic regions. GM and Ford aren't. Obviously, the US pickup market is the cash cow for all 3 groups, but at least FCA's other divisions are contributing.

  • Flipper35 Flipper35 on Jan 09, 2017

    They had some minivan production mules out several years ago that would run 400 miles on an 8 gallon tank. Not sure if it was between the Diamler and Cerberus era or why they never went further in developing them.

  • ToolGuy VW (marque not group) and Tesla very nearly switched positions on a YTD basis.
  • RHD Inexpensive gasoline appears to be a thing of the past. ILO is correct - we have enough sunlight, wind and emerging ocean wave energy to power the entire country and then some. Clean air is nice, and being free of the whims of OPEC, geopolitics and hugely profitable oil companies will do all of us a world of good.
  • Raymond Segura Can you tell me where I can get the rear bumper for 69 impala?
  • Art Vandelay some of the crazy numbers I get. Percentages look bigger with any fluctuations with low volume makes and brands leaving the market will see massive month over month changes. But what’s with Buick? I still see the occasional ad on TV and yet the drop is disproportionate even compared to all the other GM brands.
  • Master Baiter "There is no mandate for consumers to buy EVs, not in any country or state. That’s made up."Right. And you are not mandated to purchase a toilet that only uses 1.6 gallons/flush. You could choose to not have a toilet--just go in the woods, like the bears do.