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Drew Dowdell

Chrysler News: FCA Expanding Michigan Production Capacity

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Fiat-Chrysler announced a $4.5 billion investment today to build a new assembly plant in Detroit and add production at five existing facilities in Michigan. The move will increase capacity for Jeep, Ram, and Dodge Durango. 

  • $1.6 billion will go to the Mack Avenue Engine complex to convert the site into a manufacturing facility for the next-generation Jeep Grand Cherokee and an all-new three-row full-size Jeep SUV. This will create 3,850 new jobs.
  • $900 million will go to Jefferson North for retooling and modernization for production of the Dodge Durango and next generation Jeep Grand Cherokee. This will create 1,100 jobs.
  • The investment into Warren Truck increases to $1.5 Billion for the production of the Jeep Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer, plus continued production of the Ram 1500 Classic. This will create 1,400 new jobs.

In addition to the plant investments, FCA has announced that future Jeep products will be electrified.  All three facilities will be able to produce plug-in hybrid versions with fully electric model capability in the future.  

The project is contingent on land acquisition near the Mack Avenue plant.  FCA plans to move quickly and start construction on the new facility in late Q2 2019.  When complete, the facility will be the first new vehicle assembly plant built in the City of Detroit since 1991.  The Mack Ave I plant currently builds the 3.0, 3.2, and 3.6 liter Pentastar V6. That production will move to the Dundee Engine Plant. 

The plan would bring around 6,500 total jobs to the region.

FCA Press Release on Page 2


FCA to Expand Production Capacity in Michigan to Grow Core Brands, Electrify Jeep® Vehicles

$4.5 Billion to Build New Assembly Plant in Detroit and Add Production at Five Existing Michigan Facilities, Creating Nearly 6,500 Jobs

 

  • FCA total committed investments in the U.S. grow to nearly $14.5 billion since 2009, with nearly 30,000 jobs created to date
  • Investment would be next step in Company’s U.S. industrialization plan, announced in 2016 to expand Jeep® and Ram brands
  • Introduces two new Jeep-branded “white space” products in key market segments
  • Enables electrification of new Jeep models
  • $1.6 billion investment would convert Mack Avenue Engine Complex into manufacturing site for next-generation Jeep Grand Cherokee and an all-new three-row full-size Jeep SUV, creating 3,850 new jobs
  • $900 million investment at Jefferson North to retool and modernize plant for continued production of Dodge Durango and next-generation Jeep Grand Cherokee with 1,100 new jobs expected
  • Warren Truck 2017 investment increases to $1.5 billion for production of all-new Jeep Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer, as well as continued assembly of Ram 1500 Classic with addition of 1,400 new jobs
  • All three assembly sites would also produce plug-in hybrid versions of their respective Jeep models with flexibility to build fully battery-electric models in the future
  • Sterling Stamping and Warren Stamping plants to receive more than $400 million total investment to support additional production, potentially creating about 80 new jobs at Sterling
  • $119 million investment to relocate Pentastar engine production currently at Mack I to the Dundee Engine Plant; production at Mack would end by Q3 2019
  • Projects contingent on land acquisition and the negotiation of development incentives with the cities of Detroit, Sterling Heights, Warren, Dundee and state of Michigan
  • City of Detroit has 60 days to deliver on commitments outlined in Memorandum of Understanding related to Mack and Jefferson North projects
February 26, 2019 , London - Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. (NYSE: FCAU / MTA: FCA) confirmed today plans to invest a total of $4.5 billion in five of its existing Michigan plants, and to work with the city of Detroit and state of Michigan on building a new assembly plant within city limits. The move would increase capacity to meet growing demand for its Jeep® and Ram brands, including production of two new Jeep-branded white space products, as well as electrified models. The proposed projects would create nearly 6,500 new jobs.

The plant actions detailed in today’s announcement represent the next steps in a U.S. manufacturing realignment that FCA began in 2016. In response to a shift in consumer demand toward SUVs and trucks, the Company discontinued compact car production and retooled plants in Illinois, Ohio and Michigan to make full use of available capacity to expand the Jeep and Ram brands. Those actions have resulted in the recent launches of the award-winning all-new Jeep Wrangler and all-new Ram 1500, and the introduction of the newest member of the Jeep family, the all-new Jeep Gladiator, at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show.

“Three years ago, FCA set a course to grow our profitability based on the strength of the Jeep and Ram brands by realigning our U.S. manufacturing operations,” said Mike Manley, Chief Executive Officer, FCA N.V. “Today’s announcement represents the next step in that strategy. It allows Jeep to enter two white space segments that offer significant margin opportunities and will enable new electrified Jeep products, including at least four plug-in hybrid vehicles and the flexibility to produce fully battery-electric vehicles.”

The city of Detroit has 60 days to meet the terms of a Memorandum of Understanding, which requires the acquisition of property critical to the execution of the Mack project. The additional investments are subject to the successful negotiation and final approval of development packages with the state and other local governments.

Plant Investment Details
FCA would invest $1.6 billion to convert the two plants that comprise the Mack Avenue Engine Complex into the future assembly site for the next-generation Jeep Grand Cherokee, as well as an all-new three-row full-size Jeep SUV and plug-in hybrid (PHEV) models, adding 3,850 new jobs to support production. The Company intends to start construction of the new Detroit facility by the end of Q2 2019 with the first three-row vehicles expected to roll off the line by the end of 2020, followed by the all-new Grand Cherokee in the first half of 2021.

Also as part of this announcement, the Jefferson North Assembly Plant would receive an investment of $900 million to retool and modernize the facility to build the Dodge Durango and next-generation Jeep Grand Cherokee. FCA expects to create 1,100 new jobs at Jefferson North.

The reborn Mack facility would be the first new assembly plant to be built in the city of Detroit in nearly three decades. In 1991, Jefferson North was the last new assembly plant built in the city. When complete, Mack would join Jefferson North as the only automotive assembly plants to be located completely within the city limits of Detroit.

The Pentastar engines – the 3.6-, 3.2- and 3.0-liter – currently built at Mack I would be relocated to the Dundee Engine Plant as part of a $119 million investment. Pentastar production at Mack I would end by Q3 2019. Mack II has been idle since it ceased production of the 3.7-liter V-6 in September 2012.

FCA also confirms the investment at Warren Truck to retool for production of the all-new Jeep Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer, announced in 2017, along with their electrified counterparts, would increase to $1.5 billion. Production is expected to launch in early 2021. In addition to the new Jeep models, the plant would continue building the Ram 1500 Classic, which is being extended to meet market demand. It is expected that 1,400 new jobs would be added. As a result of this investment announcement, production of the all-new Ram Heavy Duty will continue at its current location in Saltillo, Mexico.

To support the additional production, the Company’s Warren Stamping (Warren, Michigan) and Sterling Stamping (Sterling Heights, Michigan) plants would receive investments of $245 million and $160 million, respectively, with Sterling Stamping expected to add more than 80 new jobs.

This investment is part of the Company's capital spending plan presented in June 2018.

Realignment of FCA U.S. Manufacturing Operations
Over the past two years, FCA has realigned production at four plants in Illinois, Ohio and Michigan to increase capacity for the Jeep Cherokee, Jeep Wrangler and Ram 1500 light-duty truck, and created additional manufacturing capacity for the Jeep Gladiator in Ohio.

The investments included: 
  • $350 million in the Belvidere Assembly Plant (Illinois) to produce the Jeep Cherokee, which moved from Toledo, Ohio, in 2017. More than 300 new jobs were added to support production, which launched in June 2017.
  • $700 million in the Toledo Assembly Complex (Ohio) to retool the North plant to produce the next-generation Jeep Wrangler. Approximately 700 new jobs were added to support production, which began in December 2017.
  • $1.48 billion in the Sterling Heights Assembly Plant (Michigan) to build the next-generation Ram 1500 truck, adding more than 700 new jobs. Production of the new truck began in March 2018. Production of the Ram 1500 Classic continues at Warren Truck (Michigan).
  • $273 million in the south plant of the Toledo Assembly Complex to prepare the facility to produce the all-new Jeep Gladiator. The new truck is scheduled to launch in the first half of 2019.  
In total, FCA has committed to invest nearly $14.5 billion in its U.S. manufacturing operations, creating nearly 30,000 new jobs since June 2009.

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Very cool, good news especially for those that might loose jobs from Ford or GM, maybe they can get a job at FCA.

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Good news for the Motor City, good news for Jeep. 

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That's great news... did I miss the news about Chrysler?  Are they really a 1-vehicle show (I don't consider the dead 300 or the fact that they have the Pacifica and Pacifica plug-in as 2 vehicles) or is something else coming?

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1 minute ago, Paolino said:

That's great news... did I miss the news about Chrysler?  Are they really a 1-vehicle show (I don't consider the dead 300 or the fact that they have the Pacifica and Pacifica plug-in as 2 vehicles) or is something else coming?

No, this is all Jeep/Ram/Dodge news for now.

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Ah, a company that puts it’s money where it’s mouth is....

Maybe a Jeep is really in the future.....

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It sounds like one of the Jeeps will take over the Durango spot. No mention of a next-generation Durango yet. 

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10 hours ago, Drew Dowdell said:

It sounds like one of the Jeeps will take over the Durango spot. No mention of a next-generation Durango yet. 

This is concerning.  I'm reading this and wondering where the new Journey is, where the new Durango is... FCA needs to keep these models, as they are not Jeeps, meaning, a Jeep should not be covering the same customer as a Journey or a Durango customer.  The Dodge customers want a people mover with AWD capability, but gritty, street style.  Those are not Jeep attributes and should not be.  A Jeep should remain outdoor themed.

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57 minutes ago, ocnblu said:

This is concerning.  I'm reading this and wondering where the new Journey is, where the new Durango is... FCA needs to keep these models, as they are not Jeeps, meaning, a Jeep should not be covering the same customer as a Journey or a Durango customer.  The Dodge customers want a people mover with AWD capability, but gritty, street style.  Those are not Jeep attributes and should not be.  A Jeep should remain outdoor themed.

Pretty sure the Durango will be hanging around for a while.

Journey is built in Mexico, production should end soon. Know there is a replacement, just not sure what....

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19 hours ago, Potluck said:

I don't see it, will there be a next generation Durango?

The Five Year plan from last year indicated a 3 row Grand Cherokee was coming (whether it will be badged as a GC or something else is unknown), distinct from the full sized Wagoneer & Grand Wagoneer.    I don't recall anything specific in the slides regarding Dodge SUVs, but I've seen speculation on Allpar that the next Durango would be a full sizer on the same Ram-based platform as the Wagoneer/Grand Wagoneer.   Time will tell. 

Edited by Robert Hall

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don't care about the journey, its junk. the Durango needs to keep going and get an update. is it going to go big like a suburban

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1 hour ago, Robert Hall said:

The Five Year plan from last year indicated a 3 row Grand Cherokee was coming (whether it will be badged as a GC or something else is unknown), distinct from the full sized Wagoneer & Grand Wagoneer.    I don't recall anything specific in the slides regarding Dodge SUVs, but I've seen speculation on Allpar that the next Durango would be a full sizer on the same Ram-based platform as the Wagoneer/Grand Wagoneer.   Time will tell. 

Durango FAILED as a full size SUV. They need to keep it in the size it is and if they want a full size SUV for Dodge, then bring out something New like you said based on the Full size RAM Wagoneer or what ever Jeep calls it.

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Just now, dfelt said:

Durango FAILED as a full size SUV. They need to keep it in the size it is and if they want a full size SUV for Dodge, then bring out something New like you said based on the Full size RAM Wagoneer or what ever Jeep calls it.

The Durango has never been a full size SUV.... what are you talking about?

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18 minutes ago, Drew Dowdell said:

The Durango has never been a full size SUV.... what are you talking about?

2004 to 2009 Second Generation Durango that my nephew had for a few years and got rid of as it was a problem line, but was based on the full size Ram pickup boxed frame unlike the first generation and third generation Durangos.

My understanding and from what I see on the web is my Daughters 99 Durango is based on the same boxed frame as the Dakota, but for the second generation Durango / Aspen SUV they built it off the Ram frame as the SUV became 7 inches longer, 2 inches wider and 3 inches taller due to the Ram underpinnings.

Gen 1

See the source image

Gen 2

See the source image

I admit I could be wrong but that was my understanding. Generation 2 was a full size and did not do as well as Generation 1 as to why Gen 3 went back to the same formula as Gen 1.

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11 minutes ago, dfelt said:

2004 to 2009 Second Generation Durango that my nephew had for a few years and got rid of as it was a problem line, but was based on the full size Ram pickup boxed frame unlike the first generation and third generation Durangos.

My understanding and from what I see on the web is my Daughters 99 Durango is based on the same boxed frame as the Dakota, but for the second generation Durango / Aspen SUV they built it off the Ram frame as the SUV became 7 inches longer, 2 inches wider and 3 inches taller due to the Ram underpinnings.

Gen 1

See the source image

Gen 2

See the source image

I admit I could be wrong but that was my understanding. Generation 2 was a full size and did not do as well as Generation 1 as to why Gen 3 went back to the same formula as Gen 1.

No it wasn't. It was based on the midsize Dakota platform.

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Durango Gen 1 and Gen 2 were both based on the midsize Dakota is my understanding (Dakota Gen 2 and Gen 3), Durango Gen 3 is based on the WK2 Grand Cherokee.   Durango Gen 2 was painfully ugly in the front, IMO..almost minivanish in it's lumpen shape. 

To confuse matters, Wikipedia says the 3rd gen Dakota and 2nd Gen Durango were 'now similar to the Ram' as far as the frame....also says" Like the Dakota, it (2nd gen Durango) has much in common with the large Dodge Ram pickup".     The 2nd gen Durangos and 3rd gen Dakotas seem to have all  disappeared..haven't seen any in ages.  1st gen Durangos and 1st & 2nd gen Dakotas have presumably rusted away here. 

Edited by Robert Hall
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59 minutes ago, Drew Dowdell said:

No it wasn't. It was based on the midsize Dakota platform.

Much appreciate the clarity Drew. The larger size seemed to be a move to full size, but weird to know it was still Dakota based even though it was noticeably bigger than Gen 1.

I do like the Gen 3 Durangos.

@Robert Hall I agree that the Gen 2 and 3 of the Dakota are like MIA around here and yet you see a ton of Gen 1 Dakotas still.

Clearly Dodge lost their way with Gen 2 Durango's and Gen 2 & 3 Dakota's. I will say that the V8 engine in Gen 2 Dakota's is a nightmare. My sister had one and unloaded it as it was just one thing after another breaking. Once out of warranty, not worth keeping it.

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      The Jeep JT Scrambler concept is a heritage-inspired remix, carrying the throwback color palette and graphics of the iconic CJ Scrambler crossed with a combination of available Jeep Performance Parts and conceptual touches.

      The look of the early 1980s-era CJ8 Scrambler is recreated with prototype Punk’N Metallic Orange and Nacho body-side stripes running from the front panels to the bed and a matching hood graphic. The white exterior is crowned with a freedom top painted in vintage amber, continuing the retro feel.

      The bed area is customized with a spray-in bedliner and a two-inch steel, prototype tube sport/roll bar painted body-color white. This version of the sport/roll bar anchors to the bed and also extends the length of the bed rails on each side, offering a total of eight tie-down points to lock down cargo. Diffused LED task lights mounted to the sport/roll bar are directed to the rear bed, providing illumination in the cargo area.

      Based on the Jeep Gladiator Rubicon, the Scrambler pulls liberally from the Mopar brand’s Jeep Performance Parts line, including a set of four five-inch LED lights stationed atop the sport/roll bar and two stationed on the vehicle’s A-pillars. Facing forward on the brush guard up front are a pair of Jeep Performance Parts seven-inch LED lights, pointing the way at 8,000 lumens each.

      The Jeep Performance Parts 17-inch slot wheels are customized in a concept bronze to tie in with the exterior color theme. A two-inch Jeep Performance Parts lift kit helps accommodate large, 37-inch tires and tough Jeep Performance Parts rock rails feature a non-slip grip. The 3.6-liter engine is augmented with a Mopar cold-air intake and cat-back exhaust.

      The Scrambler color theme is followed through on the interior. Katzkin Amaretto Brown leather seats are bordered in orange thread, with the Jeep grille logo embroidered in a light Tungsten on the seatbacks. The dash panel and armrests receive the same Katzkin Amaretto Brown leather treatment with matching orange thread accents. The auxiliary switch bank offers a single location for operating accessories, including the LED lights, and the Mopar bright pedal kit and all-weather floor mats also dress up the interior.

      Jeep Gladiator Gravity 
      The rock-climber-themed Jeep Gladiator Gravity concept is elevated with a full complement of available-at-launch Jeep Performance Parts from Mopar to help equip those who have a desire to reach greater heights.

      The Jeep Gladiator Rubicon, colored in attention-grabbing Punk’N Metallic Orange, is a ready-to-order expression of how Jeep Performance Parts can help enhance the all-new pickup’s capability and versatility. In the bed area, mounted Mopar cross rails work in concert with a cargo carrier basket to deliver storage space for rock-climbing gear, such as ropes, carabiners, helmets and shoes. A unique Mopar/Decked truck bed storage system offers additional lockable cargo space through dual sliding drawers, while still allowing for storage on top in the bed area.

      The open-air potential of the Jeep Gladiator — unlike any other offered by a production midsize truck —  is realized through Jeep Performance Parts two-inch round steel tube doors, a mesh sunbonnet that provides cover while keeping the top-down feel, and tie-down straps that secure the windshield when lowered.

      The Jeep Gladiator Gravity is raised with the Jeep Performance Parts two-inch lift kit and runs on 17-inch gear wheels carrying 35-inch tires. Heavy-gauge steel Jeep Performance Parts rock rails are thicker and wider and utilize the same powder-coating on Ram Truck bedliners to provide a non-slip finish. In front of the Mopar satin black grille, Jeep Performance Parts seven-inch LED lights show the way forward, with help from five-inch LED lights on the A-pillars.

      The vehicle is upgraded with a cold-air intake and cat-back exhaust system to enhance horsepower and torque. Inside, the interior is dressed up with Katzkin leather seats featuring the Jeep grille logo embroidered in Tungsten stitching. Additional Mopar accessories include grab handles stamped with the Jeep grille logo, MOLLE (Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment) bags for storage and all-weather floor mats with a unique “plug” system that allows for direct draining of water and debris.

      View full article
    • By Drew Dowdell
      Jeep unveiled six concept Jeep Gladiators for the 53rd Annual Moab Easter Jeep Safari. (click on any of the pics to enlarge)
      The Jeep Wayout:  An overland concept that has a roof-top tent and custom canopy The Jeep Flatbill: An extreme 4x4 that has a nod to Motocross culture The Jeep Five-Quarter: A "resto-mod" of the 1968 Jeep M-715 Gladiator-based military vehicle The Jeep J6: Mixes classic Jeep styling with concept and production Jeep Performance Parts and Accessories The Jeep JT Scrambler: A concept that combines retro '80s styling with Jeep Performance Parts The Jeep Gladiator Gravity: Rock-climber themes trail vehicle using launch-ready Jeep Performance parts  
      Some of these are clearly just fun concepts to show off the versatility of the Jeep Gladiator, while others like the Gladiator Gravity are vehicles that could potentially be built by a customer with a fat enough checkbook and the Jeep/Mopar performance parts catalog.  One thing we'll say about the Five-Quarter resto-mod, Jeep keeps teasing us with these retro look Jeep trucks and to great fanfare, we think they should just build them.
       
      More information is available from the Jeep Press release on Page 2
      April 8, 2019 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - The Jeep® Gladiator will reign supreme at this year’s Easter Jeep Safari as the Jeep and Mopar brands have once again joined forces to create six new, custom-built concept vehicles for the annual event that takes place in Moab, Utah, April 13-21. For the 53rd year, thousands of off-road enthusiasts will head to Moab for the annual Jeep event to participate in a week of technical off-roading on some of the most challenging and scenic terrain in the country.

      “The Moab Easter Jeep Safari provides the perfect venue to interact with and gather feedback from our most loyal and passionate customers – the diehard off-road enthusiasts who attend the event each year,” said Tim Kuniskis, Head of Jeep Brand - North America. “This year’s Safari will mark the debut of the highly anticipated all-new Jeep Gladiator on Moab’s scenic and demanding trails. To celebrate, we are showcasing six fun and ultra-capable new truck-based Jeep concept vehicles that are certain to turn heads and delight the crowd.”

      A vast selection of production and prototype Jeep Performance Parts are among the highlights on this year’s collection of Jeep concept vehicles. The Mopar brand develops all Jeep Performance Parts with rigorous specifications and legendary 4x4 capability in mind. This allows Jeep owners to further enhance their stock vehicles with confidence.

      “Customization is one of the highest priorities for Jeep brand enthusiasts. This is why we have proactively developed a portfolio of more than 200 exclusive parts and accessories for the all-new Jeep Gladiator,” said Steve Beahm, Head of Parts and Service (Mopar) and Passenger Car Brands, FCA - North America. “This portfolio is backed by a factory warranty and has been put through tens of thousands of hours of development, testing and validation, providing our customers a great array of products and peace of mind. At the 2019 Easter Jeep Safari, we will be inspiring our customers by showcasing just a fraction of what is currently available in our catalog and also some conceptual accessories that might make it into production in the near future.”
       
      Jeep Wayout 
      The Jeep Wayout concept is a true overlanding vehicle that takes advantage of the all-new Gladiator’s class-leading payload to allow adventure-seekers to go far off the beaten path. The Jeep Wayout is a functional concept that showcases a full roof-top tent and custom, large sprawling canopy.

      Wayout’s body-armored exterior features a new Gator Green color that will be available on production Gladiator models. A custom bed rack with an integrated ladder carries the roof-top tent that sleeps two comfortably, while the 270-degree awning with amber LED task lighting helps travelers set up camp when the day is done.
      For added convenience, two custom-fit auxiliary fuel tanks are integrated into the bedsides. Also, an ARB on-board air system with a body-mounted quick-disconnect air supply line allows adventurers to travel further off the grid.

      For additional capability, a Jeep Performance Parts two-inch lift kit increases ground clearance on top of 17-inch steel wheels that are hugged by 37-inch mud-terrain tires, providing a distinct retro feeling harking back to the original Willys pickups that paved the way for modern Jeep trucks. Furthermore, a 12,000-lb. Warn winch and Jeep Performance Parts snorkel help overcome multiple obstacles – both wet and dry.

      Jeep Wayout has a custom integrated roof-rack system for packing gear up top, and the truck bed houses a Mopar/Decked bed-drawer system for added lockable dry storage on long treks. Inside, bed-lined floors, plus trimmed brown leather seats with laser-etched inserts of topographical maps, have been added.

      The Jeep Wayout is powered by the award-winning 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine and mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission.

      Jeep Flatbill
      Designed with the desert lifestyle in mind, the Jeep Flatbill concept is another fun look at the all-new Gladiator, mixed with the extreme thrills of the Motocross world resulting in an unmistakable, loud and rowdy appearance that serves as the ultimate hauler for an array of toys.

      On the exterior, the Motocross culture has inspired the vented carbon hood and high-clearance flares, while a custom-designed shortened front bumper and skid plate improve the approach angle. 
        
      The Jeep Flatbill is a truck dedicated to dirt bike riding through and through and is fully equipped to handle transport of dirt bikes for any off-road adventure. This is demonstrated by the Flatbill concept’s truck bed, which features a pair of dirt bikes ready for action. With the removal of the tailgate, dedicated wheel ramps have been installed that slide out for easy access and loading. Custom body work on the bed lowers, plus the addition of a tube rear bumper, increases the vehicle’s departure angle for added capability.

      Dynatrac Pro-Rock 60 front and rear axles, plus an Off-Road Evolution custom four-inch lift kit, help the Flatbill tackle any obstacle. Large rear bypass shocks along with 20-inch wheels have been added, as well as 40-inch tires – the first time on any Jeep Gladiator – combining to provide superior traction and off-road performance.
       
      Inside, bright bed-lined floors plus custom-trimmed seats create a fun and sporty environment.

      The Jeep Flatbill is powered by the 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine with a cold-air Mopar intake and mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission.

      Jeep M-715 Five-Quarter
      Continuing the Easter Jeep Safari tradition of “Resto-Mods” comes the Jeep M-715 Five-Quarter that is a seamless blend of vintage and modern components. The term “Five-Quarter” is a historical nod to Jeep trucks of the past that were one-and-one-quarter tons or “five quarters.”

      Starting with a 1968 M-715, this Gladiator-based military vehicle was re-imagined with design and functional improvements to its chassis, drivetrain and cargo configurations, resulting in a truly capable showpiece.

      On the exterior, the original front sheet metal was removed and a full carbon-fiber front end takes its place. Also, an all-new, bobbed 6-foot custom-fabricated aluminum bed was installed that has been perforated and re-imaged using a mix of water jet cut panels and wood slats. Additional body modifications include a 3.5-inch drop to its convertible soft-top, further enhancing its factory monster truck silhouette.

      Headlights have been replaced with new HID lights along with LED auxiliary lights for vast outward visibility. Rearward, LED halo lights have been installed in the original taillight buckets. To protect the body, the original rockers were removed and replaced with functional rock rails that run the length of the body side. Modified front Jeep Gladiator Rubicon steel bumpers have been installed, which complement the brushed metal-finished body and tailgate, producing a polished look.

      The M-715 Five-Quarter’s off-road capability has been enhanced by reinforcing the original frame and replacing the leaf springs with a heavy-duty link/coil suspension system. Additionally, the front axle has been pulled forward two inches and replaced with a Dynatrac Pro-rock 60 front axle and a Dynatrac Pro-rock 80 axle in the rear, while 20-inch beadlock wheels are wrapped with large 40-inch tires.
       
      Inside, new Jeep Wrangler seats, free of headrests, have been installed for a sleek, low-back visual. Additionally, water-jetted aluminum components make up a new lightweight and premium instrument panel, as well as door panels. A repurposed vintage 8-71 supercharger now serves to encase the transmission and transfer case shifters and the floors have been bed-lined for enhanced durability.

      Power is provided to the Jeep M-715 Five-Quarter by a 6.2-liter supercharged “Hellcrate” HEMI® V-8 engine, which produces more than 700 horsepower.

      Jeep J6 
      The Jeep J6 concept is all truck, all the time, mixing the classic Jeep truck styling of the late 1970s with prototype and production Jeep Performance Parts from Mopar.

      The Jeep J6 is a Rubicon customized in a two-door configuration, maximizing cargo space with a large, six-foot functional bed “box” area that is 12 inches longer than the standard Jeep Gladiator bed. Mopar and the Jeep Design team reached back in time for the custom Metallic Brilliant Blue paint, a homage to the exterior look of the 1978 Jeep Honcho. The overall length of the J6 is 201 inches, while the wheelbase clocks in at 118.4 inches, matching the wheelbase of the current-generation Jeep Wrangler 4-door.

      The upsized bed area is guarded by a prototype body-color matching spray-in bedliner. A sturdy, two-and-a-quarter-inch steel prototype sport/roll bar planted in the bed carries a set of four, five-inch Jeep Performance Parts LED lights that shine at 4,800 lumens each. A prototype spare tire carrier stores up to a 37-inch tire.

      Prototype 17-inch beadlock wheels with a “deep dish” design are set off from the Metallic Brilliant Blue exterior with a Brass Monkey finish, encircled by a silver beadlock ring. A production Jeep Performance Parts two-inch lift kit works with aggressive 37-inch tires to add extra trail clearance.

      Additional modifications defend the Jeep J6 against off-road obstacles, including a prototype two-inch steel stinger bar that bolts to the Rubicon front bumper and rock rails customized with two-inch steel tubes welded to the standard Jeep Gladiator rails. The concept hardtop is removable, and classic Jeep J6 badging is swapped in on the tailgate and side fenders.

      The stinger bar acts as a mounting point for four additional five-inch Jeep Performance Parts LED lights, with another two bolted on near the A-pillars, for a total of 10 five-inch LEDs working together to illuminate the trail. The grille is custom Mopar Satin Black, and the stock Jeep Gladiator Rubicon hood is accented with Mopar hood latches featuring the Jeep logo.

      The 3.6-liter engine receives a performance bump through the Jeep Performance Parts cold-air intake.

      Exterior DNA flows into the interior of the Jeep J6. The instrument panel inserts match the body color and Katzkin leather seats and armrests are also accented with body-color blue stitching. The horn pad is customized with a classic Jeep badge. The auxiliary switch bank offers a central operating location for the 10 LED lights, and the trailer brake control switch showcases the ability to tap into additional stopping power when towing. A bright pedal kit, all-weather floor mats and molded doorsill guards with the Jeep logo round out the lineup of Mopar accessories.

      Jeep JT Scrambler 
      The Jeep JT Scrambler concept is a heritage-inspired remix, carrying the throwback color palette and graphics of the iconic CJ Scrambler crossed with a combination of available Jeep Performance Parts and conceptual touches.

      The look of the early 1980s-era CJ8 Scrambler is recreated with prototype Punk’N Metallic Orange and Nacho body-side stripes running from the front panels to the bed and a matching hood graphic. The white exterior is crowned with a freedom top painted in vintage amber, continuing the retro feel.

      The bed area is customized with a spray-in bedliner and a two-inch steel, prototype tube sport/roll bar painted body-color white. This version of the sport/roll bar anchors to the bed and also extends the length of the bed rails on each side, offering a total of eight tie-down points to lock down cargo. Diffused LED task lights mounted to the sport/roll bar are directed to the rear bed, providing illumination in the cargo area.

      Based on the Jeep Gladiator Rubicon, the Scrambler pulls liberally from the Mopar brand’s Jeep Performance Parts line, including a set of four five-inch LED lights stationed atop the sport/roll bar and two stationed on the vehicle’s A-pillars. Facing forward on the brush guard up front are a pair of Jeep Performance Parts seven-inch LED lights, pointing the way at 8,000 lumens each.

      The Jeep Performance Parts 17-inch slot wheels are customized in a concept bronze to tie in with the exterior color theme. A two-inch Jeep Performance Parts lift kit helps accommodate large, 37-inch tires and tough Jeep Performance Parts rock rails feature a non-slip grip. The 3.6-liter engine is augmented with a Mopar cold-air intake and cat-back exhaust.

      The Scrambler color theme is followed through on the interior. Katzkin Amaretto Brown leather seats are bordered in orange thread, with the Jeep grille logo embroidered in a light Tungsten on the seatbacks. The dash panel and armrests receive the same Katzkin Amaretto Brown leather treatment with matching orange thread accents. The auxiliary switch bank offers a single location for operating accessories, including the LED lights, and the Mopar bright pedal kit and all-weather floor mats also dress up the interior.

      Jeep Gladiator Gravity 
      The rock-climber-themed Jeep Gladiator Gravity concept is elevated with a full complement of available-at-launch Jeep Performance Parts from Mopar to help equip those who have a desire to reach greater heights.

      The Jeep Gladiator Rubicon, colored in attention-grabbing Punk’N Metallic Orange, is a ready-to-order expression of how Jeep Performance Parts can help enhance the all-new pickup’s capability and versatility. In the bed area, mounted Mopar cross rails work in concert with a cargo carrier basket to deliver storage space for rock-climbing gear, such as ropes, carabiners, helmets and shoes. A unique Mopar/Decked truck bed storage system offers additional lockable cargo space through dual sliding drawers, while still allowing for storage on top in the bed area.

      The open-air potential of the Jeep Gladiator — unlike any other offered by a production midsize truck —  is realized through Jeep Performance Parts two-inch round steel tube doors, a mesh sunbonnet that provides cover while keeping the top-down feel, and tie-down straps that secure the windshield when lowered.

      The Jeep Gladiator Gravity is raised with the Jeep Performance Parts two-inch lift kit and runs on 17-inch gear wheels carrying 35-inch tires. Heavy-gauge steel Jeep Performance Parts rock rails are thicker and wider and utilize the same powder-coating on Ram Truck bedliners to provide a non-slip finish. In front of the Mopar satin black grille, Jeep Performance Parts seven-inch LED lights show the way forward, with help from five-inch LED lights on the A-pillars.

      The vehicle is upgraded with a cold-air intake and cat-back exhaust system to enhance horsepower and torque. Inside, the interior is dressed up with Katzkin leather seats featuring the Jeep grille logo embroidered in Tungsten stitching. Additional Mopar accessories include grab handles stamped with the Jeep grille logo, MOLLE (Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment) bags for storage and all-weather floor mats with a unique “plug” system that allows for direct draining of water and debris.
    • By Drew Dowdell
      FCA is paying Tesla hundreds of millions of dollar to pool their vehicles with Tesla to avoid EU fines over emissions. Tesla put out an invitation to other automakers to use its fleet to lower their emissions totals and FCA took them up on it.  Neither company released financial specifics of the deal, but it is estimated by the Financial Times to be worth hundreds of millions of dollars.  
      Similar to California which allows manufactures with a surplus of ZEV credits to sell them to manufacturers who need them, the EU Commission allows manufacturers to pool together their fleets to avoid paying fines. Tesla makes significant money selling these credits in the US, earning $103.4m in 2018 and $279.7m in 2017. Once set up, the pool in Europe is good for several years.
      Vehicles in 2018 are allowed an average CO2 emission of 120.5g per kilometer. That figure will drop to 95g per kilometer next year.  FCA's average for 2018 was 123g per kilometer, one of the largest off the mark of the 13 major manufacturers. FCA is seen to have fallen to near the back of the pack when in comes to reigning in CO2 emissions.
      FCA was forecast to be facing fines exceeding €2 billion ($2.25 billion) without pooling with Tesla. 
       

      View full article
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