This edition of JeepNewsNow.com sponsored by:
 
Grand CherokeeAll-New Grand Cherokee in 2010, Chrysler Spending $1.8 Billion to Upgrade Plant
Posted by mike on 2008/8/13 11:08:00 (5158) reads

KBCI is reporting that Chrysler Vice Chairman Tom Lasorda just announced that Chrysler will be spending $1.8 billion to upgrade the Jefferson North Assembly (current home of the Grand Cherokee) in preparation for an all-new car-based SUV.

Most of the articles I've read about this story this morning are vague about the vehicle to be produced, but I did manage to find one source (a French site, apparently) that says it will be a new car-based Grand Cherokee! From easyBourse.com:

LaSorda said the new vehicles will retain the Grand Cherokee name and will hit dealer showrooms in 2010.

From the KBCI article:
LaSorda said the money will go for tooling and a flexible body shop at the Jefferson North Assembly Plant. That plant now makes the Jeep Grand Cherokee.

Speaking at a weeklong industry meeting organized by the Center for Automotive Research, LaSorda said the investment will add 285,000 square feet to the plant and keep more than 400 jobs in Michigan.

The new vehicle will be more fuel-efficient than the truck-based Cherokee and will be equipped with the company's new Phoenix line of fuel-efficient engines.

LaSorda said the factory should be retooled by the end of next year and will start cranking out the new vehicles early in 2010.

He said the investment will include energy-efficient lighting and the ability to use solid waste and paint sludge as an energy source.

More info to come as the facts come out...

UPDATE (8/14/08): Chrysler has posted a press release. More details about the upgrades, no additional details about the vehicles to be manufactred. Read it in full after the jump...

TRAVERSE CITY and AUBURN HILLS, Mich., Aug. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Chrysler LLC announced today that it will invest approximately $1.8 billion in new vehicle programs, including a significant expansion and upgrade at its Jefferson North (Detroit) Assembly Plant to ready it for future production, starting in 2010. The announcement was made by Tom LaSorda, Chrysler LLC Vice Chairman and President, during a speech at the 2008 Management Briefing Seminars in Traverse City, Michigan.

"This investment in our future products and at Jefferson North will enable the Company to produce a future generation of vehicles more efficiently, with world-class quality and an improved environmental footprint," said Tom LaSorda. "Furthermore, this commitment reinforces the long-standing partnership between Chrysler LLC, the City of Detroit and the State of Michigan."

"A strong Chrysler is important for Michigan and Michigan workers, and we are pleased to cooperate with them on this project," said Governor Jennifer Granholm. "This expansion will continue a valuable, long-term partnership that has helped keep Michigan the automotive capital of North America."

Plant and Product Advancements

The total program investment will go towards product development functions, as well as new, state-of-the-art manufacturing systems in the plant. This investment provides for the design, development, components and supplier support associated with the new vehicle programs.

"We believe the Jefferson North makeover will give the facility and our Company the upper hand on how responsive we can be to shifts in consumers' needs and changing market demands," said Frank Ewasyshyn, Chrysler LLC Executive Vice President of Manufacturing. "We also believe this will be achieved while continuously improving the quality of our vehicles that will be produced in Detroit."

Jefferson North will undergo a 285,000 square foot building expansion to replace the existing body shop, which will give the facility an all-new level of manufacturing flexibility for multiple product capability. In addition, changes throughout paint and assembly operations will accommodate vehicles of various sizes and dimensions. Material handling and other plant functions also will be improved.

Plant employees will benefit from new levels of involvement and training to help complete the plant transformation. Much of the critical work required for facility and equipment preparation and installation will be accomplished by employees from the plant, a result of collaborative work between Chrysler and the UAW.

"This is an important day for the future of the UAW and Chrysler LLC, and we are pleased to partner with Chrysler to help maintain jobs in Michigan," said General Holiefield, UAW Vice President and Director for the Chrysler Department. "Although we are in the midst of challenging times, the strong relationship between Chrysler and the Union will contribute toward our long-term success."

Green Initiatives

Multiple "green" initiatives will be employed at Jefferson North. Each of these additions will result in energy savings, as well as a brighter, cleaner and more ergonomically sound workplace for employees. Plus, these advancements will improve the environmental footprint of the facility by reducing carbon emissions, solid waste and raw material consumption while also helping to green the outside grounds of the plant. These include:

-- Energy-efficient fluorescent lighting fixtures and a state-of-the-art energy management system;

-- Air filtration systems to improve employee comfort and workplace cleanliness;

-- Decanting technology, which will utilize paint sludge as an energy source, reducing emissions and solid waste;

-- Electric-servo weld guns in the new body shop to improve welding quality for the vehicle bodies, while also producing quieter operations;

-- Replacing unused asphalt parking areas with grass to reduce heat generation and improve appearance;

-- Utilizing reusable paint clips that hold doors in place during the paint process and reusing parts racks, resulting in a reduced raw material consumption; and

-- Trailer cubing and rack density improvements to reduce fuel consumption and transportation costs.

The energy savings resulting from the sludge operations, filtration systems, lighting and servo welding alone are anticipated in total to save several dollars per vehicle built, while helping to have a cleaner, brighter workplace.

Commitment to Employees and Detroit

Chrysler LLC continues to be one of the leading employers in Detroit and Michigan. In addition to investing and expanding the plant itself, the new investment will help maintain jobs in Detroit. Chrysler currently has eight facilities in Detroit including Detroit Axle; Jefferson North Assembly; Mack Engine I; Mack Engine II; Mt. Elliott Tool & Die; Plymouth Rd. Office Complex; Conner Ave. Assembly; and Chrysler Transport.

About Jefferson North Assembly Plant

The 2.7 million square foot Jefferson North Assembly Plant was built in 1991. The Company's current Jeep(R) Grand Cherokee has been produced there since its introduction in 1992. The facility was expanded once in 1999, and the plant currently produces the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Jeep Commander. Jefferson North Assembly Plant is a member of U.A.W. (United Auto Workers) Locals #7, #889 and #412.

Reader Reactions

The comments are owned by the poster.
We aren't responsible for their content.
You must login or register to post a comment.

Poster Thread
xjken99
Posted: 2008/8/15 21:47  Updated: 2008/8/15 21:47
Quite a regular
Joined: 2005/9/14
From:
Posts: 58
 Re: All-New Grand Cherokee in 2010, Chrysler Spending $1....
I can not help but think that if the next Grand is actually based off a car platform then what we will have will be a very expensive Compass. I hope that is not true, uni-body is one thing car based is something totally different. Whatever it is is better be damn good because Chrysler can not afford any more strike outs.

I do kinda get the feelin that that Chrysler seems to be making these things up as they go. I mean how about some real releases, give people some drawings or mockups. You know something exciting to get people talking and excited about the next five years (there won't be a next one hundred years unless the next five are great).

With all their Chrysler Listens and Customer Advisory Board and tell us what you want us to build stuff I find it hard to believe that the Jeep community wants them to build a car based Grand
Cherokee.

Poster Thread
Jeepin
Posted: 2008/8/20 10:48  Updated: 2008/8/20 10:48
Home away from home
Joined: 2005/11/28
From: TX
Posts: 190
 Re: All-New Grand Cherokee in 2010, Chrysler Spending $1....
The Jeep community is a very small proportion of their customer base for anything other than the Wrangler. I doubt the "Jeep community" wanted them to build anything with IFS, but they did. The Jeep community definitely didn't want them to get rid of the XJ, but they did.

Personally I still think the whole "car-based" thing is bunk, put out by some incompetent journalist who doesn't understand that unibody doesn't mean "car" and who thinks the current Grand Cherokee is based off a truck platform.

Poster Thread
myhotwheels22981
Posted: 2008/8/15 2:34  Updated: 2008/8/15 2:34
Home away from home
Joined: 2002/3/22
From:
Posts: 247
 Re: All-New Grand Cherokee in 2010, Chrysler Spending $1....
Ok, so if the Caliber is built off of the Next-Gen Lancer frame (Which, by the way, how is the CURRENT Caliber being built off of the NEXT Gen Lancer frame?), and the Cherokee/Aspen/Durnago is being built off of the GMT800 Chassis (Which, by the way makes sense for chassis sharing and Hybrid compatability), does that mean that I can get a Hybrid LS-1 Compass with paddle shifters?

Poster Thread
jason
Posted: 2008/8/15 10:54  Updated: 2008/8/15 10:54
Just can't stay away
Joined: 2005/6/30
From: glendale,az
Posts: 93
 Re: All-New Grand Cherokee in 2010, Chrysler Spending $1....
What I meant about next generation is the 2008-2009 Lancer, At the time the caliber was on the market the new lancer was not. Looks like they did decide to roll with a unibody plattform.

http://www.autobloggreen.com/2008/08/14/chrysler-announces-new-fuel-efficient-offerings/

Poster Thread
Jeepin
Posted: 2008/8/20 10:51  Updated: 2008/8/20 10:51
Home away from home
Joined: 2005/11/28
From: TX
Posts: 190
 Re: All-New Grand Cherokee in 2010, Chrysler Spending $1....
The GC was always going to be on a unibody platform.

Poster Thread
myhotwheels22981
Posted: 2008/8/14 3:42  Updated: 2008/8/14 3:42
Home away from home
Joined: 2002/3/22
From:
Posts: 247
 Re: All-New Grand Cherokee in 2010, Chrysler Spending $1....
Jeepin, I do believe that it has been announced that Chrysler (Dodge) will build Full-size pickup trucks for Nissan, and Nissan will build Mid-size pickup trucks for Dodge (and I'm guessing Mitsubishi) based off their new Frontier platform.

Mabye Mitsubishi will build an M-80-based small pickup truck for Dodge and Nissan off a modified Montero platform.

Nissan is also going to build the next-gen Caliber for Dodge off of their Versa platform... We can only hope that the next-gen Compass is built off the Lancer platform.

Oh yeah! I almost forgot, Chrysler is building mini and maxi vans for VW off of the Caravan and Sprinter platforms.

Mabye Dodge will get a small SUV to replace the Nitro, and for Jeep the next-gen Patriot based on the Tiguan platform, which is in-and-of-itself based on the Golf platform. (Did I mention that Tiguan stands for Tiger-Iguana, so does that mean that Compass stands for Compressed-Ass?)

As for the Next Gen Cherokee, everyone is putting their money on the Durnago/Aspen platforn, but I'm putting my money on the Trailhawk concept being the Archetecture for the next-gen Cherokee, and based on the Journey platform, albiet (there's a word I dont use often) much more beefed up...And Why?

Chrysler is farming out work on lesser platforms and taking in jobs on lines with excess capacity to concentrate on Halo models (mabye the Cherokee will look like something that came out of the video game HALO) that they can call their own.

The Journey is 7 passenger, compatabile with the Phoenix engines, and like the article says, built on a flexible platform, so you know that Cherokee is sharing a chassis at the very least.

Poster Thread
Jeepin
Posted: 2008/8/14 11:00  Updated: 2008/8/14 11:00
Home away from home
Joined: 2005/11/28
From: TX
Posts: 190
 Re: All-New Grand Cherokee in 2010, Chrysler Spending $1....
The TrailHawk concept vehicle was built off the JK Unlimited platform. I imagine we'll see some styling cues from the concept vehicle make it to the next gen GRAND CHEROKEE, but that's it.

Also, the Durango/Aspen will be built off the same platform as the next gen GC, which will be unibody. So no, no one is putting their money on the Durango/Aspen platform, it's actually the other way around.

The Journey won't have anything to do with it. They may share some subsystems, maybe some electronics and such, but that's probably true for a lot of the vehicles (similar HVAC controls and radios between lots of Dodge/Jeep/Chrysler vehicles, etc).

Poster Thread
jason
Posted: 2008/8/14 13:51  Updated: 2008/8/14 13:51
Just can't stay away
Joined: 2005/6/30
From: glendale,az
Posts: 93
 Re: All-New Grand Cherokee in 2010, Chrysler Spending $1....
The caliber,patriot and compass are built off of the next generation lancer plattform. The Nissan versa will lilely be the dodge hornet concept and the compass,commander and aspen are likley to afde away. There will be 2 versions of the Jeep grand Cherokee one with 5 passenger and one with 8 passengers. Early rumors suggest that these will be built off of the GMT800 plattform which measn body on frame. Now that market conditions have change maybe those plans have been scrapped? Who knows

Jason

Poster Thread
Jeepin
Posted: 2008/8/20 10:43  Updated: 2008/8/20 10:43
Home away from home
Joined: 2005/11/28
From: TX
Posts: 190
 Re: All-New Grand Cherokee in 2010, Chrysler Spending $1....
The GM platform thing was nothing but a completely unsubstantiated rumor. Totally, completely, and utterly FALSE.

Poster Thread
Jeepin
Posted: 2008/8/13 17:22  Updated: 2008/8/13 17:22
Home away from home
Joined: 2005/11/28
From: TX
Posts: 190
 Re: All-New Grand Cherokee in 2010, Chrysler Spending $1....
Geez, I can understand the idiots over on Autoblog going on about it being a car-based platform, but HERE?!

Show me where anyone from Chrysler actually says anything about using the same platform as any car? The Grand Cherokee has never been truck-based (aka: body-on-frame). It's always been unibody. Unibody != car.

The next generation platform will underpin the new Grand Cherokee, Durango, and Aspifica. Yes, that means the next gen Durango will be unibody.

Not sure what that means for the Dakota though. Maybe if Dodge builds full-size trucks for Nissan, Nissan will build mid-size trucks for Dodge?

Poster Thread
MarkH
Posted: 2008/8/13 19:48  Updated: 2008/8/13 19:48
Home away from home
Joined: 2005/7/20
From: The Great White North
Posts: 494
 Re: All-New Grand Cherokee in 2010, Chrysler Spending $1....
X2!

Poster Thread
chuknchez
Posted: 2008/8/13 14:14  Updated: 2008/8/13 14:14
Just popping in
Joined: 2008/4/22
From:
Posts: 10
 Re: All-New Grand Cherokee in 2010, Chrysler Spending $1....
I believe the Grand Wagoneer was truck-based and not the Grand Cherokee. As for $4 a gallon gas, gas prices here are down in the $3.40's.

Poster Thread
xjgary
Posted: 2008/8/14 1:16  Updated: 2008/8/14 1:16
Just can't stay away
Joined: 2005/7/25
From:
Posts: 91
 Re: All-New Grand Cherokee in 2010, Chrysler Spending $1....
Earlier this week the TV news reported that the average price of reg gasoline in my county was $4.25 per gallon. The next county to the north was slightly higher. I did manage to find it for $3.999, but I had to wait in line.

Poster Thread
jason
Posted: 2008/8/13 12:22  Updated: 2008/8/13 12:22
Just can't stay away
Joined: 2005/6/30
From: glendale,az
Posts: 93
 Re: All-New Grand Cherokee in 2010, Chrysler Spending $1....
I agree that the GC is a Suv not a truck based Suv. So are they saying that the new GC will be based off a car? The new GC will have 2 versions and a dodge version. I doubt that the new GC will be car based, more like body on frame based from what I have read in recent months. Look for the 2010 GC to look alot like the tomahawk concept from 2006

Jason

Poster Thread
davert
Posted: 2008/8/13 12:11  Updated: 2008/8/13 12:11
Not too shy to talk
Joined: 2007/5/14
From:
Posts: 21
 Re: All-New Grand Cherokee in 2010, Chrysler Spending $1....
All guesswork but very logical. You'll notice the oft-repeated error that the Grand Cherokee is truck based -- it's quite obviously NOT truck based since it's not based on ANYTHING and never has been. The Grand Cherokee stands along, engineered to be what it is. If the future one is car-based, which I think is also guesswork by the reporters, then it would logically come from either the next-gen LX series - remember there was always supposed to be a crossover based on those - or from the upcoming D-class car series (Sebring/Avenger replacements). But with a 2010 deadline, I think we're looking at the Grand Cherokee replacement, period ... to be shared wtih Dodge as the Durango (maybe) and as the Dakota (I'm guessing here).

For details on the engines see Phoenix engines over at allpar.

Poster Thread
trevorj
Posted: 2008/8/14 23:01  Updated: 2008/8/14 23:01
Just can't stay away
Joined: 2006/6/30
From: Kelowna, BC
Posts: 124
 Re: All-New Grand Cherokee in 2010, Chrysler Spending $1....
For a company that wanted to pare down their offerings and bring the Nameplates back in line, I don't foresee a future where Jeep is selling cars and Dodge and Chrysler are selling SUVs. It just doesn't add up to everything they've been saying. Platform sharing is one thing, but don't expect to see Dodge, Chrysler and Jeep versions of the same basic SUV ever again
Main Menu
JeepNewsNow Everywhere
Login
Username:

Password:


Lost Password?

Register now!
Jeep Classifieds
Syndication - RSS
Add Jeep News Headlines to your site for free!

Display the latest Jeep news headlines on your Web site using our RSS 2.0 news feed!

RSS 2.0

Or, if you prefer, an even easier way of putting the headlines on your Web site is to utilize our free, JavaScript-based headlines. Check them out!
Who's Online
6 user(s) are online (2 user(s) are browsing News)

Members: 0
Guests: 6

more...
Advertisements
mike's totally free jeep news now is designed and maintained by AnelloConsulting.com
Copyright © 1998-2010 mike's totally free jeep news now
Privacy Policy | Disclaimer | Advertising Info