Since 2012, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles' Mack Avenue Engine II plant in Detroit has been idled. But new reports from CNBC and The Detroit News say the factory will be retooled to build a new three-row Jeep Grand Cherokee for the 2021 model year.
According to sources, the reopening of the plant would allow FCA to begin retooling the Jefferson North Assembly Plant - which sits across from the Mack Avenue complex. This would allow Jefferson North to start producing the next-generation two and three-row Grand Cherokee. Reopening Mack II could bring up to 400 jobs back to Detroit.
“FCA is essentially out of capacity. They’re kind of running up against being against full capacity. This is a very different situation than what GM is dealing with,” said Jeff Schuster, an analyst with LMC Automotive to The Detroit News.
Last month, FCA was using 92 percent of its plant capacity in North America, due to the increase in demand for trucks and utility vehicles. This is noticeably higher than General Motors (72 percent) and Ford (81 percent) according to data from LMC Automotive.
FCA and the office of Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan declined to comment.
An announcement about this retooling is expected to take place next week.