Next Generation Jeep Grand Cherokee Shifts to new Alfa Romeo Platform

By Lynn Palec, | January 11, 2017

The next generation of Dodge Challenger and Dodge Charger would also be part of the Alfa-Romeo platform migration. (YouTube)

The next generation of Dodge Challenger and Dodge Charger would also be part of the Alfa-Romeo platform migration. (YouTube)

The next generation Jeep Grand Cherokee will ditch its aging Mercedes-Benz-based platform for a new platform from Alfa Romeo. This is part of Jeep's plan to bring back the rear wheel drive to the Grand Cherokee line.

The change was announced by Fiat-Chrysler chief executive officer Sergio Marchionne at this year's Detroit Auto Show. Marchionne added that the next generation of Dodge Challenger and Dodge Charger would also be part of the Alfa-Romeo platform migration, according to Automobile Mag.

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In a statement acquired by Motor Trend, Marchionne said, "We're finishing off the study now, but I'm going on the basis of the latest information, which is that it will be the basis upon which the Grand Cherokee will be developed, unless something happens in the next 60 days that suggests it isn't doable."

The last five-year plan that Marchionne implemented in 2014 includes a plan for the Jeep Grand Cherokee redesign by the 2019 model year. Fiat-Chrysler is yet to confirm the platform for the new Grand Cherokee model, which has led some analysts to conclude that a replacement is probably on its way.

During the press conference, Marchionne confirmed that Fiat-Chrysler is investing $1 billion in its facilities in Belvidere, Illinois, and Toledo, Ohio. Fiat-Chrysler also confirmed that the company will build the new Jeep Grand Wagoneer and Jeep Wagoneer SUVs along with a still unconfirmed pickup truck, which is based on the new Jeep Wrangler, in its facilities based in the United States instead of outsourcing it.

Marchionne said that Fiat-Chrysler would continue its ongoing partnership with Google's autonomous driving car division Waymo. In December 2016, Fiat-Chrysler confirmed that it had built 100 Chrysler Pacifica minivans for Waymo as part of the two companies' research and development into autonomous driving cars.

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