By on August 7, 2020

If you spend your days decrying the bloat of American automobiles, you won’t like what 2021 has in store for you. It’ll be like 2020… only worse!

Scary stuff. For consumers enamored both with the Jeep brand and large, cargo-happy vehicles, however, next year will bring the dawning of a new age of glorious excess. Thanks to Fiat Chrysler’s second-quarter earnings report, we can now pin down post-lockdown production timelines for three Jeep vehicles boasting three rows of seating.

The production timelines, noted by Motor1, span the year. The first of the new Jeep models out the door is a three-row SUV due to start assembly in the first quarter of 2021. That model will shared a platform and powertrains with the next-generation Grand Cherokee, with production taking place at the converted Mack Avenue plant in Detroit.

Following on the heels of that model, which should appear with its own name (as opposed to Grand Cherokee XL or something similar), is the Jeep Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer. Hulking, truck-based SUVs with varying levels of lux, the two biggest Jeeps will begin assembly in the second quarter of the year. Built at Warren truck, the two Wagoneers share the Ram 1500’s underpinnings.

Hybrid versions of all three vehicles are expected, and with good reason. Tesla has only so many green credits to sell. Don’t fret, though — there’ll be V8 engines to be had, for sure, and the price ceiling on on the Grand Wagoneer will likely satisfy those who can’t stomach paying less than six figures for a vehicle.

Also on the docket is the Grand Cherokee, long overdue for a revamp. Rolling out of the Mack Avenue and Jefferson North plants, the model slated for a Q3 production start will include a plug-in hybrid variant.

Overall, it doesn’t look like the pandemic-borne lockdown impacted the production timeline of the three-row models in any significant way, though the Grand Cherokee was initially expected to roll out in the first half of the year.

[Image: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles]

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40 Comments on “Production Dates Revealed for Newest, Biggest Jeeps...”


  • avatar
    Lie2me

    I’ve been looking forward to these new Jeeps for a long time, so maybe sometime next year then :(

    • 0 avatar
      thegamper

      The Wagoneer is a product that should have been on the market years ago. It will be a license to print money in this environment for Jeep’s Italian and now French overlords. Hasn’t it been on the drawing board now for more than a decade? Puzzling why it has taken so long.

      Nice to see Stellantis bringing some much needed additions and updates to the lineup. Now bring on some of those French cars please.

      • 0 avatar
        karonetwentyc

        There’s an argument to be made that this may be a case of ‘once bitten, twice shy’.

        DCX took a shot at the three-row Tahoe competitor market with the XK Commander, but it never really caught on. Having driven a couple, I can understand why: they just weren’t particularly good vehicles. It was as though the design brief was to make a bigger Jeep than the Grand Cherokee with features from other large 3-row SUVs – and that was it. They felt cheap while not being inexpensive to buy, and didn’t do anything particularly better than their competitors.

        FCA killed the Commander in 2010 after taking the company over from Cerberus; as I recall, Sergio Marchionne made a comment to the effect of, ‘I can’t understand why anyone bought them’ in reference to the Commander at the time.

        This is where I suspect that ‘once bitten, twice shy’ comes into play: FCA was likely historically-reluctant to invest in what is essentially a replacement for a vehicle that failed in its market segment. Now that Marchionne is no longer in the picture, however, there are fewer impediments to seeing something in the Suburban / Tahoe segment reach production.

        • 0 avatar
          Lie2me

          Those Commanders were awful. I was going to trade my Grand Cherokee in on one until I took it for a test drive. Cheap, tinny, loud, expensive and slow was my take away. After owning four Jeeps I left at that point and have never returned :(

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      Lie2me, there are some sweet deals to be had on 2020 Grand Cherokees right now. A couple of young AF families we know recently bought a 2020 Grand Cherokee for their respective families, for a real sweet price – $4750 discount off MSRP is what I believe I heard.

      They each had to travel 520miles roundtrip to Larry H. Miller Jeep in Albuquerque, NM to get the deals, but with Fiatsler’s aggressive pricing strategy there have got to be great deals in every state.

      • 0 avatar
        Super555

        That isn’t a good deal. I got almost $8,000 off a new 2017 Trailhawk in late 2016. Right now have a dealer willing to sell you a new Wrangler any trim for 7% below invoice if you finance with them.

  • avatar
    hreardon

    Wow, Q3 2021 for the Grand Cherokee to start production is a bit surprising. That said, FCA keeps selling more of them every year, so clearly they’re doing something right and don’t need to push the intro.

  • avatar
    Superdessucke

    Grand Wagoneer. Give me white walls or give me death!

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      Yo! I had a Grand Wagoneer and no white walls would have fixed everything that was wrong with that rolling hunk of junk of Detroit pride.

      OTOH, I also had a 2012 Grand Cherokee and it was a fantastic, reliable ride that was handed down to my grand daughter for her DD.

  • avatar
    Super555

    The new Grand Cherokee was supposed to be out for the MY2020. I wonder if when they saw the Telluride and Palasade they sent it back to the “drawing board”?

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    Why? Just…. why? What is the need for such large vehicles? These are going to be among the largest non-commercial passenger vehicles ever built… even including the 15-passenger vans of the ’70s and ’80s.

    • 0 avatar
      karonetwentyc

      My guess is that they’ll be about the same size as a Suburban / Tahoe, since that seems to be the market that Jeep is targetting with these vehicles.

      I can see a number of scenarios where a Jeep based on a Ram chassis could come in handy: upping Jeep’s tow ratings (which are OK, but nothing stellar), offering a vehicle that can trade off between cargo space and carrying passengers, something that’s suitable for large families, etc. It’s not uncommon for me to carry cargo that I would not want to risk in the back of a pick-up (even with a good tonneau or shell in place), and to have to mix & match between the number of people on board and whatever cargo needs to get to where it’s going.

      Having said that, it’s going to have to be something really spectacular to get my eventual post-COVID ordering dollars. Haven’t been terribly impressed with Jeep’s focus or execution on its vehicles that aren’t Wranglers for some time now.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      Just like GM and Ford have been letting Jeep take all the off-roader business for the last 20 years, Jeep has been letting GM and Ford take all the giant SUV business for over 20 years. I’m glad to see more competition in both categories. This could be interesting

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        Not just large SUVs but large luxury SUVs. It didn’t take much brains to replace the big Bronco with a big 4-door then do luxury branding.

        Nor for doing a shorty Suburban (or long Blazer). You’d really need to have your head completely up your A$$ to permanently kill the Wagoneer and not do a 4-door Ram Charger follow up/replacement.

    • 0 avatar
      Superdessucke

      Why? Because people want them and perceive that they need them. Do they actually need them? In 99.9% of sales no but there is a market for these so automakers will build them until that market collapses. I don’t like it either but what’s the solution? (shoulder shrug icon)

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      Vulpine, different strokes for different folks. That’s what makes the world go ’round.

      I’ll take the largest vehicle I can afford over a squirrel-engined econobox anytime, and a gasoline-fired ICE vehicle as my primary long-distance traveler any day.

      Not surprisingly, the majority of Americans subscribe to the same ideals.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        @highdesertcat: “Not surprisingly, the majority of Americans subscribe to the same ideals.”

        While I might agree with you on pickups, the average car/CUV around here is mid-sized or smaller, with the Toyota Rav 4 being about the largest relatively common vehicle and a surprising number of Kia Souls and similar-sized vehicles covering the rest of the market. Even my wife prefers her Jeep Renegade over the Jeep Cherokee–complaining it’s just too large for her taste (and I tried for years to put her in one of those before the Renegade came out.) To me, the Cherokee is around the size of vehicle I would choose, which is why I want a pickup truck in that general size range, not a full-sized truck or even, really, the truck I have, though I appreciate its capabilities and use them up to a point. And the one I have can hold a queen-sized mattress and box spring across the rails for length and width with very little overhang (guess how I know.)

        Simply put, “the largest vehicle I can afford” is far larger than the truck I bought, and with discounts and cash on the hood they’re also cheaper than the truck I bought. And it’s still far larger than what I wanted.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          Vulpine, I understand. Hence I wrote “different strokes for different folks.”

          And, there were times when whatever I was driving in big cities what too big to comfortably navigate around the tight neighborhoods, narrow streets and tiny parking spaces, necessitating me to park several city blocks away from my destination.

          But living in the Great Southwest and the wide open spaces, I’ll choose the largest vehicle every time to buy, to rent, to drive.

          Brings to mind that my youngest brother, formerly residing in Manhattan, NYC, NY, decided to pack up his toys and move out of NY in March 2020. The Wuhan virus had a lot to do with that, but also the tight living conditions of The City, and the unrealistic taxation without representation.

          Another “wealthy” person that has left NY (and my brother is NO Trump supporter.)

          • 0 avatar
            CaddyDaddy

            HDC, did your Bro head to South Florida for the less taxes and more space, but will continue to vote like he did in NYC? Rinse, wash repeat?

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            CaddyDaddy, he moved to Biloxi, Mississippi, near what used to be the Broadwater Beach Hotel.

            His wife is a graduate of Ol’ Miss and really, really wanted to move back to MS, even though her dad had gifted that 2600 sq ft luxury apartment in Manhattan, NYC, NY, to her (and my brother).

            Goes to show “Home is where the Heart is”, and for some people who can afford to move/relocate/migrate, it is not New York. Even though she was born in New York, no amount of money could make her want to live there (and frankly, she’s worth a lot more money because of her retired stock broker dad than my brother, the retired car dealer.)

            So much has happened since my wife and I were in Old Mexico 13Mar2020-03Aug2020, and the Wuhan virus is just one little portion of it all.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          @Vulpine – What’s your retirement village called, “Smallville”? Fullsize SUVs are Hot sellers for everywhere else, even big cities. They’re worth the extra pain, but just think, what if their prices weren’t so nuts?

          Despite the millions of fullsize SUVs on the road, there would be millions more if their prices were in line with say, fullsize pickups.

          For a lot of reasons, midsize (and under) sucks.

          Think of all the fullsize pickups on the road used mostly for family duties. Buyers were probably “priced out” of fullsize SUVs, and got the next best thing, the fullsize pickup, for tens of thousands le$$, equally equipped.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            @DM: I should have expected a comment like that from you. By the way, at one time I lived in Aurora, outside of Denver; I actually like the area as long as I don’t have to go into city center.

            But, to answer your question, I live in a town that was once called, “The Marriage Capitol of the World”, where many very famous people got married. It’s not a “retirement village” but a working, semi-rural town in a county nicknamed, “Ceciltucky” for the number of horse farms raising Thoroughbreds for racing. That’s why full-sized trucks are so popular (but you’ll still find a surprising number of older as well as newer mid-sized models.) But when it comes to their family car or spouse car, they tend to be smaller because many of the roads around here were former dirt tracks where a meet may mean putting two wheels in the grass just to get by in a truck. That is, assuming there’s enough grass to avoid falling into a ditch or worse.

            Keep in mind, my friend, that the US population is a mere 380 million people. Now, supposedly the number of cars is something like one car for every 2.x people today, so obviously there’s something like a couple hundred million cars in the US. The US market, IIRC, sees about 10 million vehicles sold per year, of which only about 25% – 30% are pickup trucks of any size. (Note: I’m only trying for ball-park numbers here, so nit-picking is irrelevant to the point.) Now, maybe for YOU those mid-size and under trucks “suck” but for more than 70% of Americans, they don’t. It also appears that for more than 10% of pickup truck buyers, they also don’t “suck”. So stop trying to speak for all Americans when you’re only speaking for yourself.

            Those full-sized pickups on the road have only recently (relatively speaking) become “family duty” vehicles. Crew cab models have been around for over 60 years but it’s only been in the last 15 years or so that they’ve become ‘common’. Even then, there are still a lot of older standard cab and extended cab models on the roads and they see a lot more “real work” than those crew cab models. Today’s full-sized pickup is a status symbol, just as those full-sized SUVs are a status symbol; and both are advertised as status symbols, the SUVs emphasizing luxury over ALL other purposes and pickups emphasizing their ability to serve as a mobile office over almost any other capability. It’s the “heavy duty” pickups that get the “real work” advertising. They’re also the ones that push bragging rights over efficiency. So again, a status symbol.

            My mid-sized truck gets more use as a “real truck” than any of the full-sized crew cab trucks in my community; it’s the old standard cab full-sized trucks that are visibly and constantly carrying heavy, dirty loads. I carry things in the bed of the truck that I simply don’t want to carry in a fully-enclosed vehicle. Sure, I suppose you could carry them inside…if you don’t mind it smelling of dirt, mushrooms, and other unpleasant aromas and getting the carpet covered in rock dust, soil, paint splatters, etc. But again, that sort of thing tends to eat away at the trade-in value of the vehicle and it is rare that whomever purchases one of these things new keeps it for more than about four or five years. I keep mine for as long as I can trust it to perform reliably and that tends to be 8-12 years before repairs start costing more than it’s worth.

            Then again, the odds are very good that my next truck will be electric, not ICE.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @Vulpine – Dollars to Donuts not many fullsize SUV buyers wish they could get a midsize SUV instead, or midsize anything, or smaller.

            Except the crazy prices of new fullsize SUVs makes them unobtainium for the masses. Just because they’re not buying them, and getting something else, doesn’t mean there’s no (burning) desire.

            Also, fullsize SUVs have the depreciation of German cars. They’re terrible investments (if any cars can be called that).

            It’s clear, for family type uses, fullsize pickups are the next best thing, or meaningful substitute for fullsize SUVs.

            Your town has lots of wide open spaces and normal rural streets and roads. Show one that doesn’t meet the legal definition for width. If it was true, school buses, trash, rescue/fire, infrastructure/utilities couldn’t get through, and or they would be designated one-ways.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            @DM: I gather by your statement that you actually bothered to research and view my town in Google Maps/Earth or some other mapping program with satellite views. Good for you. Now, take that view and move out of town a bit. Go about 8 miles north and look at the cross-country roads into the more rural areas. Even though paved, they only just meet minimum width for two CARS to pass, much less trying to have two pickup trucks or worse, two farm tractors with implements in tow. Even on the roads that can handle 18-wheelers AND have six-foot paved shoulders, when those tractors come through, meeting vehicles have to use those extra-wide shoulders to get by the tractors and their gear. It’s almost impossible to pass those tractors going the same direction as you unless the operator is kind enough to pull into a driveway or cross road to let the parade by.

            Just because things are so big and wide out west doesn’t mean they are so in the eastern half of the country.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            If “fullsize” cause havoc in your subdivision, again, don’t expect a fast EMS response. But the reality is 6 inches on each side is all that separates midsize to fullsize.

            Most US drivers are so inept that a few inches don’t make any difference when it comes to threading the needle in tight traffic, never mind the elderly.

            I see drivers all the damn time, stop the car and throw their hands up, when confronted with construction zones, delivery vans, tow trucks, etc, partially blocking the road, when they had 2 or 3 feet on each side!

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            @DM: That’s it, DM, completely ignore what I said to push your own viewpoint. Now, try reading my response again, because I said nothing about “my subdivision.” The rest of that argument is pure nonsense, even if true, because it does not address the problem in any meaningful way.

            Let me know when you’re willing to talk sensibly again.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            At some point, it doesn’t matter except to you and your neighbors living way off the beaten path.

            Do you get cell service there? Do you truck in your own water? Or well? Propane and solar only?

            Either way, you’re not listening. You gotta make it about YOU (and your immediate neighbors).

          • 0 avatar
            mcs

            @vulpine: “I live in a town that was once called, “The Marriage Capitol of the World”, where many very famous people got married.”

            I never knew that. My parents were married there. I always thought it was just some random town they picked.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            @DM: I see you’re still not willing to debate properly and make ridiculous assumptions. I was being honest in my praise of your doing some research for once but obviously I was wrong; you have no idea where I live and don’t care as long as you can spread your blather around like Trump, trying to look intelligent when all you’re doing is showing how little you know AND how little you care that you don’t know it.

            I feel sorry for you.

            Do some research, then try again.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Vulpine, remember BAFO and his assessment of DiM?

            It’s the trolls like DiM that diminish the online ttac community.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            @mcs: Congratulations, my friend. The town no longer has that reputation but we’re still proud of it. We’re also semi-famous for the number of historical figures that used this town as an overnight stop in their journeys between the 13 colonies and later. Then again, one of the largest POW forts housing Confederate soldiers is not too far away, either. You might have heard of Pea Patch Island?

    • 0 avatar
      teddyc73

      Why? Because people like them. Or should I say….Because “people” like “them”. Since you “like” using quotation marks “so much”.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        @teddyc: Would you rather I SHOUTED? Whether you like what I said or not, the quote symbols I use were not arbitrary, they directly represent words used either by the locals (Ceciltucky is commonly used here because of the horse farms) or by DM himself.

        The big full-sized crew cab pickup trucks are NOT used as family vehicles where I live and they almost never carry more than two people in the cab. Even my next-door neighbor who has an older crew cab (almost 20 years old) and kids uses the truck almost exclusively as a working truck (he’s a carpenter) and carries his older son’s motorcycle in the bed when going out to ride–with only his son as passenger. When he, his girlfriend and the kids all go out together, they take her car and not the truck. And yes, her car is a sedan, not a CUV, SUV or truck.

        Now, if you want I COULD be as “snarky” as you and “quote” everything “one” “word” “at” “a” “time” just to make you feel better. Would “that” work?

  • avatar
    ToolGuy

    Indisputable facts:
    a) Ford is the master of all things truckish, and never makes any product planning missteps related to trucks or SUV’s or luxury SUV’s or luxury trucks (cf. Excursion, Blackwood).
    b) It took the masters a good while [and a few platform generations] to iron out their size and naming strategy (Expedition, Expedition Max) in this segment.
    c) Still working on the trim strategy (is King Ranch in or out?).

  • avatar
    Oberkanone

    Nothing for Belvidere.

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      Belvidere in the last ten years was used to build the new Dart, Compass, Patriot, and regular Cherokee. The Dart and Patriot have been discontinued, and the Compass sold in NA is now made in Toluca, Mexico, where the Fiat 500 was built. Only the regular Cherokee is left in Belvidere’s 5 million square foot assembly plant on 280 acres.

      I suspect the assembly plant will be closed rather than get any new models. The separate stamping plant is modern and automated, but the panels can be shipped to other assembly plants. I suspect the cost of labor in Illinois is part of the problem.

  • avatar
    Bobby

    If the new Wagoneer is going to be a full-sized SUV primed against the Chevy Tahoe and Ford Expedition, they really ought to make a blinged-out, ultra lux version of it and call it “Chrysler Imperial.” It could be a bargain basement alternative (relatively speaking) to the Escalade and Navigator; similar flash and sizzle for tens of thousands less. Plus the poor Chrysler brand is currently starved for product- just one minivan (with 2 names) and the aging 300
    (a model which apparently won’t see another generation).

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