Automaker dealing with financial and production restraints
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles may need to alter its five-year business plan yet again, this time because of possible delays to its next-generation Ram heavy duty pickup truck and the new Jeep Grand Wagoneer.
Citing unnamed sources, Automotive News reports Jeep has halted development of the Grand Wagoneer, the upcoming three-row SUV that will sit above the Grand Cherokee. A new release date is unclear, though Jeep previously pushed back the Grand Wagoneer’s launch from 2018 to 2019. The report suggests Jeep is delaying the Grand Wagoneer due to financial and production restraints; the SUV is slated to be built at FCA’s Warren Truck plant in Michigan, but will need extensive retooling as it currently builds the Ram 1500.
FCA is allegedly facing similar issues with the new Ram 2500 and 3500 heavy duty trucks. Currently built at the automaker’s plant in Saltillo, Mexico, the facility will also require extensive upgrades as the next-gen Ram heavy duty trucks move to a new platform. FCA originally planned to launch the new trucks in 2018, but will reportedly keep the current platform (launched back in 2010) around a while longer, perhaps giving the truck another refresh.
Despite the importance of both models, FCA apparently needs to drastically reign in spending. The automaker is already investing billions of dollars to revamp other facilities, including over $1 USD billion retooling its Belvidere and Toledo plants, as the latter prepares to build the next-generation Jeep Wrangler.