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Stellantis Idles Its Detroit Assembly Complex – Jefferson Plant For Retooling!

Plant On Scheduled Shutdown For 8 Weeks, March 21st to May 16th...

Stellantis has halted production at its Detroit Assembly Complex – Jefferson (DACJ) as part of a planned retooling of the plant. The facility (formerly known as the Jefferson North Assembly Plant or “JNAP”) stopped production on Monday, March 21st, 2022. DACJ currently manufactures both the popular Jeep® Grand Cherokee (WK2) and Dodge Durango (WD) SUVs.

The front entrance of the Detroit Assembly Complex – Jefferson facility. (Stellantis).

In February 2019, then Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) announced a $4.5 billion investment to expand its Detroit production capacity. Around $1.6 billion of that money was invested in converting the former Mack Avenue Engine Complex into the new Detroit Assembly Complex – Mack (DACM) facility, which currently manufactures all of the new Jeep Grand Cherokee (WL74) and Grand Cherokee L (WL75) vehicles. 

The Detroit Assembly Complex – Jefferson plant at idle during the height of the pandemic. (Stellantis).

The retooling of the DACJ was part of that original announcement of investment in 2019, with $900 million going to retool and modernize the plant for continued production of the Dodge Durango and the Jeep Grand Cherokee (WL).

Production of a right-hand drive (RHD) of the two-row WL74 is planned for the Ranjangaon Assembly Plant near Pune, India. But that model will be exclusively manufactured for the Asia Pacific (APAC) region. All other Grand Cherokee models for the North American and all other export markets are expected to come from the Detroit Assembly Complex.

Skillets carry Jeep® Grand Cherokee Ls as they travel down the trim line at Stellantis’ Detroit Assembly Complex – Mack plant. (Stellantis).

For years, Jeep has continued to have an issue with production capacity at its DACJ facility. The Grand Cherokee outsells the Durango almost 4 to 1, looking back at the last three years’ production numbers. The addition of having both the DACJ and DACM plants built the trio of 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee two-row, Grand Cherokee L three-row, and the electrified Grand Cherokee 4xe, should eliminate most of the capacity restrictions for the global demand for the Grand Cherokee.

An employee on the 400-foot-long Certification Line at Stellantis’ Detroit Assembly Complex – Mack plant. (Stellantis).

Production at the DACJ facility is expected to resume on Monday, May 16th. The plant’s 4,800 workforce have been placed on temporary layoff and are eligible for unemployment benefits as well as about two-thirds of their regular pay, according to the United Auto Workers (UAW).

Sterling Stamping Plant in Sterling Heights, Michigan. (Stellantis).

On another note, 98 workers at the Stellantis Sterling Stamping Plant in Sterling Heights, Michigan, have been placed on indefinite layoff according to Stellantis and UAW Local 1264. Those workers have the ability, under their contract with the UAW to be moved to different open positions in facilities elsewhere. The Sterling Stamping facility currently creates and assembles the hoods, roofs, liftgates, side apertures, fenders, and floor pans for the Chrysler Pacifica, Chrysler Voyager, Chrysler Grand Caravan, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Dodge Durango, Ram 1500, and Ram 1500 Classic models.

 

Robert S. Miller

Robert S. Miller is a diehard Mopar enthusiast who lives and breathes all that is Mopar. The Michigander is not only a Co-Editor for MoparInsiders.com, 5thGenRams.com, and HDRams.com but an automotive photographer. He is an avid fan of offshore powerboat racing, which he travels the country to take part in.

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I did comment on Stellantis NA sales numbers in this challenging economy as acceptable if not what might be hoped. Further clarity is evidenced by the fact that these operations and products are undergoing major reorganization, retooling and realignments that forecast major sales increases in the future. Right now things are confusing, but once domestic and foreign operations are worked out and clarity prevails things will really take off. Indeed, when seen though a lens of planed thinking, things are on track for better days.

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I take this to mean ALL production on the Grand Cherokee WK has now permanently ceased at Stellantis?

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