Jeep Puts Six-Figure Grand Wagoneer on Hold
Are you among those who is eagerly anticipating the opportunity to drop six figures on a next-generation Jeep Grand Wagoneer? Welp, you’ll be waiting a little while longer.
The Jeep Grand Wagoneer, which is anticipated to fetch an asking price as high as $140,000, has been put on an indefinite hold according to a report from Automotive News. The three-row luxury SUV is joined on the back burner by the next generation of RAM heavy duty pickup, which is also being held off from its scheduled 2018 revamp to ensure consistent supply in an effort to erase a $7 billion net deficit.
The fate of the Jeep Grand Wagoneer was confirmed to Auto News by supplier sources. Despite Jeep’s almost shocking level of candor about its three-row luxury beast, up to and including brand boss Mike Manley confirming at this year’s Paris Auto Show that the brand said that “pushing the car up to $130,000 to $140,000 may be possible,” FCA reps declined to comment.
While the cause of the delay in production of the Jeep Wagoneer and Jeep Grand Wagoneer was not immediately made clear, Auto News lays it at the feet of a cost-saving measure. As has also been known for some time, production of both SUVs was set to replace that of the RAM 1500 at the Warren Truck Assembly Plant when manufacturing is moved to Sterling Heights Assembly Plant in 2018.
This move would require a complete retooling of Warren’s capabilities, forcing the plant to transition from body-on-frame to unibody assembly. FCA is already in the process of retooling Sterling Heights to accommodate body-on-frame production, as well as its unibody assembly line in Toledo.
It is noted that FCA’s Jefferson North Assembly Plant already manufactures a three-row unibody SUV—the Dodge Durango—but that the facility is already at max capacity and, thus, could not accommodate the Wagoneer/Grand Wagoneer without significant expense.
Given Jeep’s enthusiasm to bring the Wagoneer/Grand Wagoneer to market, it is likely that pieces need only be shifted around in a way that best minimizes additional cost before it can get back on track. Given the possibility of that price tag, one would imagine that the automaker will find a way to make it work.
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News Source: Automotive News (subscription required)