FCA’s Jefferson North Plant Rolls Out Six-Millionth Vehicle
A 2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee 75th Anniversary Edition marks the occasionby Mark McNabb, on
The Jefferson North Plant in Detroit has been pumping out Chrysler vehicles since 1992 and has just reached the milestone of six million vehicles made. The now iconic first-generation Jeep Grand Cherokee was the first to roll off the assembly line. Fiat Chrysler is celebrating by showcasing the six-millionth vehicle – a 2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee 75th anniversary edition.
“Reaching this milestone is a reflection of this plant’s commitment to supporting the continued growth of the Jeep brand around the world and playing a role in the comeback of Detroit,” said Curt Towne, Jefferson North Plant Manager. “Our employees are proud to be part of this unique time in the history of both the Company and the City. They understand that not only are they contributing to the success of FCA U.S., but they are proving that Detroit will always be the Motor City.”
The Grand Cherokee’s 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 was cranked over around 8:30 p.m. local time as employees of the Jefferson plant watched the completion of the final checks before heading to a customer in Michigan.
The Jefferson plant employs nearly 4,500 people in three million square feet. The plant runs three crews who work two 10-hour shifts that run six days a week. FCA says it takes a vehicle a day and a half to travel the length of the assembly line – from the body shop where panels are welded together to the final checkpoint process. In 2015 alone, the plant produced more than 365,000 vehicles. The Jefferson plant also builds vehicles for export to 135 markets worldwide. These exports comprise roughly 25 percent of its entire volume.
Through its 24-year history, the Jefferson plant has produced mostly Jeep vehicles, including the Jeep Commander from 2005-2010, but also began building the Dodge Durango in December of 2010. The plant also celebrated its five-millionth vehicle back in 2013 when another Jeep Grand Cherokee rolled off the line.
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Why It Matters
FCA has a lot to be proud of with the Jefferson North Plant. It’s been kicking out some of the most iconic Jeep and Dodge SUVs of the last 24 years. What’s more, it’s been the workplace of countless workers doing their part to build vehicle while building the economy.
It’s hard to imagine FCA’s future plans will including anything besides heavy investments of capital to keep the Jefferson plant fitted with modern assembly equipment, building some if its best-selling Jeep and Dodge models.
Read our full review on the Jeep Grand Cherokee 75th Anniversary Edition here.