FCA May Delay Several Model Redesigns Including Ram, Jeep
It seems FCA may be already running behind schedule on its comprehensive five-year plan announced just last year. Reports from the automaker’s suppliers say several models are affected by the delays, which are said to range from a few months to more than a year.
One of the most effected vehicles is Jeep’s upcoming Grand Wagoneer, Jeep’s three-row luxury competitor aimed at the Range Rover. It’s experiencing delays due to its similarity to the upcoming, all-new Grand Cherokee. Initially, the new Grand Cherokee was scheduled for the 2017 model year, but as Reuters reports, engineers are still working on the SUV’s platform. That makes since as the current Grand Cherokee rides on a chassis shared with the Mercedes-Benz ML-Class from the ill-fated Daimler-Chrysler partnership.
Jeep may be working on a more modular design that would easily work for multiple vehicles with various sizes. Traditionally the Grand Cherokee has offered seating for both five and seven passengers, with the third row seats being optional. The Grand Wagoneer will necessitate a longer body, giving Suburban-like room to all aboard.
Jeep is also reportedly pushing back the introduction of the next Wrangler, though only by a few months. Initial plans had the open-top Jeep hitting showrooms early in the second quarter of 2017, but it looks to be July 2017 before that happens.
Also experiencing delays is the next-generation Ram 1500, though to an even lesser degree than the Wrangler. Reuters says the Ram will be pushed from its mid-2017 launch to one in November.
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Why It Matters
FCA has its hands full these days with no less than 11 brands to keep track of. These delays surely cost the automaker money and potential customers looking for new vehicles, but it also puts investors in an uneasy position. Hopefully the delays aren’t too long, keeping damages to a minimum.