Chrysler will begin building the diesel version of the Jeep Grand Cherokee at the Jefferson North assembly plant in Detroit early in 2013. But Fiat/Chrysler chief executive officer Sergio Marchionne said he doesn’t expect diesel engines to move from large trucks and SUVs into smaller passenger cars in the U.S.
The necessary emission controls make the engines too expensive, Marchionne said during an appearance at the Automotive News World Congress. The Canadian-born executive also said Chrysler won’t begin preparing the Jefferson North plant to build a new Maserati SUV — using a Ferrari engine — until 2013 and dismissed speculation Fiat could be lining up to make a bid for Opel.
He also said the industry has a social responsibility to improve fuel economy. “The fuel efficiency challenge is one of the biggest issues facing the industry, and not just because of daunting government regulations. As an industry, we need to look beyond the narrow interests of our industry and embrace ecological responsibility because we owe it to future generations,” he said.