Investment to benefit Ohio, Illinois plants
FCA today announced that it will invest over $1 billion USD in retooling the Belvidere Assembly Plant in Illinois and the Toledo Assembly Complex in Ohio. The investments at both facilities will result in the creation of up to 1,000 new jobs with 300 located at the Belvidere facility and 700 at the Toledo plant. Belvidere will receive $300 million USD for retooling to accommodate Jeep Cherokee production, which will move to that plant in 2017, while Toledo will receive $700 million to get ready to produce the next-generation Wrangler. FCA will announce the fate of the Southern complex of the Toledo Assemble Complex at a later date.
Production of the Dodge Dart and Jeep Compass and Patriot will come to a close at Belvidere by the end of 2016. The Compass and Patriot will be replaced by one new compact crossover, which has yet to be named. Automotive News reports that CUV will be shown at the 2016 Los Angeles auto show and will be produced at FCA’s Toluca, Mexico, facility. AN also suggests that the South complex of the Toledo Assembly Complex will be used to manufacture the Jeep pickup, which should launch sometime in 2018. We reported earlier that the reconfiguration of the Toledo Assembly Complex will allow it to produce 350,000 Wranglers, or 50 percent more than its current capacity. The current-generation Wrangler will also continue production alongside the new model and the Wrangler-based pickup.
FCA boss Sergio Marchionne revealed earlier this year that the automaker will focus more on trucks, crossovers, and SUVs as part of its updated 2016 business plan. As a result, the company will stop production of the Chrysler 200 and Dodge Dart, which have been slow sellers since their introduction. Instead, FCA will likely outsource replacements for the 200 and Dart to another automaker. The next-generation Wrangler (pictured in spy shots above) is expected to debut for the 2018 model year and it may also come with a new turbocharged four-cylinder from FCA’s upcoming Hurricane engine family.
Source: FCA, Automotive News (Subscription required)