FCA Delays Redesigns on Key Truck, SUV Models
Ram 1500, Wrangler, Grand Wagoneer Reportedly Delayed
The past two years have generally been positive for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) and its key truck and SUV brands: Ram and Jeep. Both brands received major updates in 2014. However, future updates have reportedly been put on hold for several of the most critical models for the company, Reuters reports. For many of the models, the delay is on the order of six months, but other models have been put on indefinite hold.
The Ram 1500 redesign, originally scheduled for a mid-2017 release, has now been postponed to November 2017, presumably as a 2018 model. The Wrangler, the next generation of which was originally scheduled for an early calendar 2017 release, is now scheduled for July 2017, also likely to be a 2018 model. A redesign of the Grand Cherokee has been put on indefinite hold, as the platform is being re-evaluated as the possible basis of a super-premium model to compete against Range Rover. This model is thought to be the previously announced Grand Wagoneer revival but may be a separate model. Also delayed is the eventual replacement for the Jeep Patriot and Compass, which is expected to be an extended-length version of the recently released Renegade.
Most of the delays are reportedly attributable to late-stage design and engineering changes, according to suppliers. Resources are also reportedly being shifted to accelerate the launch of several Alfa Romeo models in the U.S. and globally. Like Fiat, Alfa Romeo has been essentially absent from the U.S. market for decades. Limited sales of the 4C sports coupe in the U.S. began in 2014.