While a slew of American car manufacturing plants are being shut down, there’s one that’s had its lights off since 2012 that’s coming back to life. According to a report from The Detroit News, Chrysler’s old Mack Avenue Engine II facility in Detroit is being retooled into an assembly plant for a new three-row Jeep SUV on the way adding up to 400 jobs to the city. The revitalized plant will be the first new auto assembly line to open in Detroit in 27 years.
But the new seven- or eight-seater Jeep SUV won’t be the new Grand Wagoneer. According to the anonymous sources cited by The Detroit News, the Jeep that’s going to be built at the refreshed Mack Avenue plant is a three-row 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee, something we first heard about back in June.
The Mack Avenue Engine II facility is right across the street from FCA’s Jefferson North assembly plant which is the current home of the Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango. Jefferson, which is running at 130 percent capacity because you people can’t get enough SUVs, is being retooled to build the two- and three-row next-gen Grand Cherokee, but we’re not sure about the fate of the Durango. If the Durango continues production, it will likely still be built alongside the Grand Cherokee given to their mechanical similarities.
A three-row Grand Cherokee getting closer to reality makes us wonder about the upcoming Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer. If Jeep is adding more available seats to the successful SUV, then it adds weight to the rumors of the Grand Wagoneer being a real Range Rover competitor combining ritzy luxury with off-road capability. A more plebeian three-row Grand Cherokee would give the Grand Wagoneer more room to pack in higher levels of luxury and demand higher prices.
An official announcement from FCA confirming the re-opening of Mack Avenue Engine II is expected to happen late next week.
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