According to Automotive News, the Ram HD lineup won’t switch to the new DT pickup platform in 2018 as was planned, instead going with a simple refresh of the existing model. Over at Jeep, the new six-figure Grand Wagoneer luxury SUV is also being put on hold. The new three-row SUV has been in the plans since 2014.
FCA has been ramping up its light truck and SUV production this year, which makes the delays surprising. FCA refused to comment on the story.
While most the reasons for the decisions are unknown, CEO Sergio Marchionne is working to eliminate nearly $7 billion in net debt before his planned retirement in 2018. Part of the plan involves a revamp of North American production to build more Ram trucks and Jeep SUVs along with the resurrection of Alfa Romeo in the U.S.
Part of the reason for the truck delay is that all Ram HD trucks come from Saltillo, Mexico and re-tooling for an all-new truck would cause a delay in dealers supply lines. Refreshing the truck will keep the products flowing with a hiccup in supply.
As for the Grand Wagoneer, Jeep initially pushed it back until 2019 so that it could be developed with the next-generation Grand Cherokee. FCA had planned to move Grand Wagoneer production into its Warren truck plant after 1500 production moved out, but re-tooling the factory for a unibody vehicle rather than body-on-frame is a costly venture. So it seems the large luxury Jeep won’t be made until FCA can find a cheaper way to build it.
[Source: Automotive News]
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