FCA plans new Jeep Grand Cherokee assembly line in Detroit, source says

Irving Hamilton
December 7, 2018

The Detroit News reported Thursday that Fiat Chrysler plans to reopen a former engine plant on the city's east side to build SUVs with three rows of seats, starting with the 2021 model year.

General Motors last month cited the slackening demand when it announced plans to halt production at five factories in North America, including four in the US.

According to the Wall Street Journal, this is the first assembly plant to be opened by any major domestic auto company in the United States in a decade.

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According to United States media, the plant would start producing its Jeep sports utility vehicles (SUVs) in 2020, and create up to 400 jobs. It would be the first new assembly plant in Detroit since Chrysler opened up its Jefferson North plant in 1992. CNBC reports that Fiat Chrysler's existing truck and SUV manufacturing plants in the United States are running near capacity.

FCA now builds the two-row Grand Cherokee at its Jefferson North plant, across the street from the idled Mack Avenue engine plant. The Detroit News estimated that the new plant could create up to 400 jobs.

Sales of SUVs and pickups have been one of Fiat Chrysler's biggest areas of growth and kept it ahead of its USA rivals.

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