For all their fans and hundreds of thousands of customers over the years, both the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango are pretty long in the tooth by now. As part of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ negotiations with the United Auto Workers (UAW) union, new documents shed light on replacements for Dodge and Jeep’s current flagship SUVs, as well as the long-awaited Jeep Wagoneer.
While the bulk of these negotiations focus on specific conditions for hourly and salaried union members working for FCA, a contract summary the UAW union recently published lays out FCA’s products and investments over the coming years as part of their tentative deal. It includes details on FCA’s Michigan plants, as well as Jeep’s Toledo, Ohio factory and the Warren Truck Plant, where Jeep will build the Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer.
After first learning of a plug-in hybrid variant for the new Wrangler JL, it appears that we’ll finally see it emerge in 2020.
Details from the UAW-FCA deal
Here’s what the UAW’s contract summary lays out for FCA’s investments, as part of the current negotiations:
- Belvidere Assembly: Current Cherokee production continues; “fresh” models based on KL platform
- Mack Avenue Complex (Detroit): New three-row Jeep model; next-generation Grand Cherokee including a plug-in hybrid in 2021
- Jefferson Assembly: Current Durango (WD) production continues; Durango plug-in hybrid based on WD platform in 2020; next-generation Grand Cherokee in 2021
- Toledo North Assembly: Wrangler plug-in hybrid in 2020
- Sterling Heights Assembly: Ram Rebel TRX launch in 2020
- Warren Truck Assembly: New Jeep Wagoneer/Grand Wagoneer (including PHEV) in 2021
Clearly, Fiat Chrysler plans to aggressively expand Jeep’s plug-in hybrid offerings within the next two years. We knew hybrid models were coming, but these documents lay out a more specific time frame as to when we can expect these new models. FCA will potentially invest $7.8 billion in plant upgrades, including $3 billion at the Jefferson North plant, $2.8 billion at the Warren Truck Plant and $1.5 billion renovating the Mack Avenue plant on Detroit’s east side.
The Ram Rebel TRX is particularly exciting news, and now we have a narrower 2020 launch date. This is a high-performance pickup slated to square off directly with Ford’s F-150 Raptor. To that end, it should have a supercharged 6.2-liter V8 engine with at least 575 horsepower.
Beyond the news of possible Cherokee derivatives, the UAW documents also laid out more beyond the Jeep plug-in hybrid models. The 2.4-liter World engine and four-speed automatic that have clung to existence in the Dodge Journey will finally phase out in 2020. FCA is also investing up to $615 million shuffling engine production between at its Dundee and Trenton plants, while its Kokomo and Indiana transmission plants will adapt to support new products coming down the pipeline.