Confirmed: Ram 1500 Production Moving to Sterling Heights
Mexico Will Build Compass/Patriot Replacement
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) CEO Sergio Marchionne revealed more information on the company’s manufacturing plans in the years ahead on Tuesday, Reuters reports. As was previously reported, Ram 1500 production will move from Warren, Michigan, to Sterling Heights, Michigan, where the Chrysler 200 sedan is currently produced. Warren is expected to build the new Jeep Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer premium SUV models. The replacements for the Jeep Compass and Patriot will move to Toluca, Mexico. Marchionne promises despite the production move to Mexico, the production shuffle will result in a net increase in U.S. manufacturing jobs. There may be temporary layoffs as the plants are retooled for the new models
In terms of the Chrysler 200 and Dodge Dart, the company is reportedly still looking for manufacturing partners to continue production of the two sedans. Although not explicitly stated, it’s likely the two models will live out the rest of their years as rental fleet staples. Some say FCA’s truck and SUV-heavy product strategy is risky in the light of rapidly rising Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) requirements and the risk of rising fuel prices. However, many believe the industry shift away from sedans and toward crossovers and SUVs is permanent. The current crop of SUVs and crossovers also have much better fuel economy than their forebears, often comparable to midsize or fullsize sedans.