Fiat Chrysler N.V. is preparing to shut down production of the current Jeep Cherokee as soon as April in what will be a crucial step in preparing for the introduction of next generation Jeep Wrangler and the long-rumored Jeep pickup.
The shutdown of the Cherokee plant in Toledo, one of the most valuable in the FCA production system, has been in company’s plans ever since FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne announced a sweeping re-organization of the company’s production plants.
The transformation started last fall when FCA halted production of the Dodge Dart at the company’s assembly plant in Belvidere, Illinois. In December, the Belvidere plant also stopped building the Jeep Patriot and Jeep Compass, which will be replaced this spring by an all-new replacement built in Mexico, while the FCA assembly plant in Sterling Heights, Michigan, also stopped building the Chrysler 200 in December. (more…)