By now we have all started to realize that some iconic models will have to make drastic changes to adapt or fade away completely as the automotive industry as a whole begins to transition from fossil fuels to increased EV production. According to a recent AP report, the Jeep Cherokee has ended production. Jeep parent company Stellantis has put its Belvidere, Illinois plant—where the Jeep Cherokee is produced—on idle status and will ultimately close the plant altogether.
When meeting with reporters, Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares said that the automaker is “looking for solutions” for the plant now that it isn’t currently producing Cherokees. Tavares also told reporters that the transition to EV vehicles is financially difficult as they are 40 percent more expensive to make than ICE vehicles, and that cost can’t be passed on to the consumer. He also stressed that the company can’t sell EVs at a loss. Which means shutting down the plant is a cost cutting measure to give the automaker some breathing room.
If a sixth-generation Cherokee is in the cards, chances are it will be quite a while before it enters production. We can’t say that we’re surprised to see the current Cherokee go as the writing as been on the wall for quite a while. Around this time last year, Jeep cut several trims from the Cherokee and in January of this year Jeep nixed the V-6 engine as well as two additional trims. So, the end of this generation’s production isn’t exactly sudden. For now our questions are: How long will we have to wait before Jeep confirms that a sixth generation Cherokee is coming, will it be an EV or hybrid, where will it be made, and will it qualify for tax credits under the new structure?
We reached out to Jeep with our questions and the automaker responded with the following statement: “We will make an announcement regarding the next generation Jeep Cherokee in due course. All [existing] Jeep brand vehicles will offer an electrified variant by 2025, including four zero-emission vehicles in North America and in Europe.” So, without giving any specifics, Jeep is essentially saying we’ll see the next-gen Cherokee or its replacement within the next two years and it will be an EV or hybrid. Again, we aren’t exactly shocked by this but at least we have a—vague—window to look forward to.
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