At present, all US-spec Jeep Grand Cherokee vehicles are built at the Detroit Jefferson North Assembly facility. These vehicles have been built at this plant since it originally opened in 1991 but a new report suggests that another plant may add to the effort for the next generation of Jeep Grand Cherokee vehicles.
Apparently, Jeep parent company Fiat Chrysler (FCA) has plans to revive its Mack Avenue Engine II plant, which is also in Detroit, as a way to facilitate higher Jeep Grand Cherokee production. This plant has been asleep since 2012, which makes it an excellent candidate to start new Jeep Grand Cherokee operations; which means that when the first new automobiles roll off the line at the Mack Avenue plant, it will have been 27 years since a new auto assembly plant has opened in the city of Detroit.
Starting production in this plant will not displace any other projects but will definitely increase output. After all, the Mack Avenue Engine II represents approximately one-third of the whole FCA Mack Avenue Engine Complex, and this used to produce the first-generation Dodge Viper (1992 to 1995). While the plant is mostly closed, what parts of the complex are open are used to build the Pentstar V6 engine, which is installed across several FCA products.
Jeep and Ram brand vehicles are both in very high demand right now, so FCA has been pretty much operating at full capacity the past few years. Actually, data compiled by LMC Automotive—in a story for The Detroit News—Fiat Chrysler assembly plants in North America have been operating at about 92 percent capacity. As such, opening this new plant will certainly help alleviate the strain. Of course, with demand so high, opening a new plant could also help to add more manpower at a time when demand could continue to grow as well.
It should be noted that Ford is operating at about 81 percent capacity and GM is operating at only 72 percent capacity (measured through November). And GM, as you may know, has just opted to shut plants down. On the other hand, FCA is looking to not only expand operations but also aims to introduce a brand new three-row Jeep Grand Cherokee variant; an updated model of Jeep’s last three-row US model, the Commander, which was discontinued in 2010.