According to our sources, the upcoming 2020 Jeep Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer (WS) models have been delayed once again. FCA US has been stating the historic Jeep nameplate would be returning since 2013, however the vehicle has been pushed back repeatedly. However, this time it might be for a very good reason.
FCA US confirmed on Jan. 8, 2017, that it would invest a total $1 billion to retool and modernize Warren Truck to produce the all-new Jeep Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer and the south plant of the Toledo Assembly Complex (Ohio) to build an all-new Jeep pickup truck. These actions are planned to be completed by 2020. More than 2,000 jobs will be added to support production of these models. With the investment, the Company stated that Warren Truck would have the flexibility to also produce the Ram Heavy Duty truck.
A year later, in January 2018, the company confirmed that it would relocate Ram Heavy Duty production from Saltillo, Mexico, to Warren in 2020 and invest an additional $1 billion in the plant. It was also announced that 2,500 new jobs would be created, above and beyond the jobs announced as part of the January 2017 announcement, to support the increased volume at the facility.
With the all-new 2019 Ram 1500 ramping up production at the Sterling Heights Assembly Plant (SHAP) after launch issues arose. The Ram brand have some new ideas for their production portfolio. Ram recently announced that they would run a 2019 model year of the popular outgoing Ram 1500 (DS) series pickup under the “Ram 1500 Classic” nameplate. The DS platform trucks continue to sell strong and since the tooling for those vehicles have been paid off for some time, they can be built cheaper than the all-new Ram 1500 (DT) models. This means a more value based truck for customers and maximizing profits for FCA US. This does not mean a multi-year continuation of the vehicle unlike the Dodge Grand Caravan which runs alongside the much newer Chrysler Pacifica nor the continued production of the Dodge Journey.
It has been no secret that Ram wants to bypass the Chevrolet as the 2nd biggest producer of pickups. They came very close to doing that last year before the launch of the new 2019 Ram 1500 (DT), but because of production limitations they could not build enough trucks for the demand. Now with the one model year continuation of the Ram 1500 Classic (DS) at Warren Truck Assembly, the all-new 2019 Ram 1500 at SHAP and Ram Heavy Duty and 1500 (DS) Regular Cab production at the Saltillo Truck Plant in Mexico; Ram will have enough truck capacity to well push by Chevrolet and General Motors as a whole (Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra).
This would mean the Jeep Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer which are to be built at Warren Truck and based of the Ram 1500 (DT) architecture will be delayed for a model year. After production is done of the Ram 1500 Classic, Warren Truck will then be revamped to build the new models.
We have already seen tons of 2020 Ram Heavy Duty prototypes running on public roads, which we were supposed to debut around the time of the Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer at Warren Truck Assembly. However, no Wagoneer or Grand Wagoneer prototypes have been seen around any of the FCA US properties.
Being pushed back one model year, the Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer will debut alongside the 2021 Dodge Durango. The 2021 Durango will also be based on the new Ram 1500 (DT) architecture (yes, back to being a body-on-frame vehicle like it was originally compared to the current unibody platform). This will allow the Jefferson North Assembly Plant (home of the current Grand Cherokee and Durango) to build the all-new 2020 Jeep Grand Cherokee and an upcoming three-row E-Segment Jeep SUV (the Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer are F-Segment). Durango will be in competition with nameplates like Chevrolet Tahoe, Nissan Armada and Ford Expedition. While the Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer will compete against more premium SUV offerings.