Detroit might be called the Motor City, but the number of vehicles built there can be counted on one hand.
That number could change in the future as The Wall Street Journal is reporting Fiat Chrysler Automobiles will open a new plant in Detroit. While the report is light on specifics, it claims the facility will build a new SUV.
A separate report from The Detroit News is more detailed and it claims FCA will convert its former Mack Avenue Engine plant into a new vehicle manufacturing facility. The plant has been idled since 2012 and will reportedly be retooled to begin production of the all-new Jeep Grand Cherokee.
Sources told the paper the new Grand Cherokee will arrive in time for the 2021 model year and offer three rows of seating. Jeep hasn’t said much about the vehicle, but FCA’s latest five-year plan revealed the next-generation Grand Cherokee will have autonomous driving technology and an available plug-in hybrid powertrain.
Despite being offered with three rows of seats, the redesigned Grand Cherokee will slot beneath the upcoming Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer. Both of those models will also offer autonomous driving technology and a plug-in hybrid powertrain.
When the new plant comes online, the Jefferson North Assembly Plant – which currently builds the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango – will be retooled. Once that process is complete, the plant will begin building the new Grand Cherokee.
An official announcement is expected next week and the report suggests it could lead to the creation of 400 new jobs.
In related news, FCA is expected to begin retooling the Warren Truck Plant next year to support the Jeep Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer. Those models are slated to arrive in 2021.