FCA Readies For Plug-In EV Offensive

FEB 27 2019 BY MARK KANE 10

Jeep is going plug-in hybrid, with the flexibility to go all-electric in the future

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) announced a $4.5 billion investment in a new assembly plant in Detroit and expansion of production capacity at existing five facilities in Michigan, which in effect will create 6,500 more jobs. Part of the investments are ongoing preparations for electrification of Jeep brand (new models).

The press release lists three plants, which were confirmed for production of plug-in hybrid Jeep models with the flexibility to build fully battery-electric models in the future:

  • $1.6 billion investment would convert Mack Avenue Engine Complex into manufacturing site for next-generation Jeep Grand Cherokee and an all-new three-row full-size Jeep SUV, creating 3,850 new jobs
  • $900 million investment at Jefferson North to retool and modernize plant for continued production of Dodge Durango and next-generation Jeep Grand Cherokee with 1,100 new jobs expected
  • Warren Truck 2017 investment increases to $1.5 billion for production of all-new Jeep Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer, as well as continued assembly of Ram 1500 Classic with addition of 1,400 new jobs

Mike Manley, Chief Executive Officer, FCA N.V. said:

“Three years ago, FCA set a course to grow our profitability based on the strength of the Jeep and Ram brands by realigning our U.S. manufacturing operations. Today’s announcement represents the next step in that strategy. It allows Jeep to enter two white space segments that offer significant margin opportunities and will enable new electrified Jeep products, including at least four plug-in hybrid vehicles and the flexibility to produce fully battery-electric vehicles.”

FCA current offer:

Planned models (at least four Jeep PHEVs):

  • Jeep Wrangler PHEV (announced in 2018) – Toledo Machining Plant in Perrysburg, Ohio
  • Jeep Grand Cherokee PHEV (the next generation Jeep Grand Cherokee is scheduled for the first half of 2021) – Mack Avenue Engine Complex, Michigan
  • Jeep Wagoneer PHEV / Jeep Grand Wagoneer PHEV – Warren Truck Assembly Plant, Michigan
  • Jeep Renegade PHEV (announced in 2018) – Melfi plant in Italy
  • Jeep Grand Commander BEV for China according to media reports
  • Fiat 500e (all-new on dedicated BEV platform) – in Italy
  • Fiat Ducato PHEV according to media reports
  • Chrysler Portal BEV van according to media reports

General plans for Jeep brand:

  • 4 BEVs by 2022
  • 10 PHEVs by 2022
  • electrified options of all models

Source: FCA, Green Car Reports

Categories: Chrysler, Fiat


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10 Comments on "FCA Readies For Plug-In EV Offensive"

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Why wouldn’t the highest segments have the BEV option? It makes sense to bring out the new expensive technology on the top end models.

It should be mostly over soon, all the announcements, and the question will be what automakers hasn’t announced, huge outlays of cash to prepare for the proceeding ev revolution.
Btw Fiat also laid off some workers 1,300, at the same time.
At least they finally get it, as so many have, or say they have recently.

Without a secure and reliable source(s) of batteries, FCA can plan all they want.

Too little, too late. While these plants will have “flexibility” for electrification, there’s no promise of how soon nor how many they’ll actually sell. Ford did the same $4.5B announcement in 2016 and here we are 3 years later with no product but a lot of promises about “future vehicles”.

Apparently you have ingored the news lately. Explorer and Aviator are the first, many more to follow.

Apparently you have ignored that those are both 2020 vehicles that cannot be ordered today. Still “future vehicles” at this point.

“The press release lists three plants, which were confirmed for production of plug-in hybrid Jeep models with the flexibility to build fully battery-electric models in the future:”

Too little, too late*. Even in 2019 they still aren’t committing to a single model intended to be solely a BEV!

This sort of behavior is why legacy market leaders fail to make the transition during disruptive tech revolutions, and go bankrupt.

*Hat tip to phEVfan; I see s/he already said that! 🙂

It is not a big deal to make an electric car. Making a profit is. There is some value to waiting and letting others pioneer the way. Bottom line is batteries. They are just now getting cost effective. 2020 is probably a good time to go electric and have a chance to make a profit.

I’ve been saying this for a while. But the ship has already turned. The EV revolution has already happened. People just aren’t aware of it yet. It takes years for the automotive industry to actually make changes that you will actually see as product sitting at the dealerships. All of the major brands have already made these big announcements now.

AFAIK, this was the first time FCA has made a public commitment of significant scale to EVs (I’m ignoring the California-compliance-only 500e, which wasn’t even available in Europe where the Fiat 500 is common; the Pacifica was nice, but it wasn’t clear whether it was part of any overall strategy). Sure, it’s still not plans to make multiple from-scratch BEV models, but still significant.
AFAICS FCA were up to now the only major carmaker (at least in the developed world) that hadn’t yet made such a commitment, so doing so now is a very good sign.