Amid the news that General Motors (GM) will be closing multiple plants across North America in 2019, the Detroit News is saying that Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) will be expanding its production process. According to the Detroit News, FCA is planning to revive the idled Mack Engine Plant II. The plant ended production in 2012.
The former engine plant will be converted into an assembly plant for the upcoming three-row variant of the next generation Jeep Grand Cherokee, that was shown as part of the 5-year plan for the Jeep brand in June of this year.
The current Jefferson North Assembly Plant (JNAP) has been faced with issues of producing the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango over the past few years. Since the Grand Cherokee is only built at the JNAP plant and sold globally there has been limited production space at the plant to build additional vehicles on top of the popular three-row Dodge Durango.
We broke the news to you several months ago, that FCA was planning on moving the Durango to a body-on-frame architecture shared with the Ram 1500 and the upcoming Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer vehicles. The Durango will then move production to the Warren Truck Assembly Plant in the suburbs of Metro Detroit in late 2020. The Warren Truck plant scheduled for a $1.1 billion update as the production of the Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer (WS), Durango (SD) and the next generation of Ram Heavy Duty trucks are set to join them in 2022. This update will start after production of the Ram 1500 Classic ends at the Warren Truck plant.
The plant shuffle will allow for more Grand Cherokee production. While the current Durango’s three-row unibody Jeep replacement will be assembled just down the street from JNAP plant, at the Mack Engine Plant II.
The opening of the Mack II plant into a production assembly line would be the first assembly plant to be constructed in the city of Detroit in almost 30 years. FCA is rumored to be adding 400 new jobs to help assemble the new three-row Jeep unibody SUV.