Officially, Fiat Chrysler doesn't have much going on at the 2017 North American International Auto Show in Detroit—the automaker has no press conference and is not revealing any new vehicles or concepts at the major auto show. But that didn't prevent CEO Sergio Marchionne from spilling some interesting new details about the upcoming Jeep Grand Cherokee.
Shown above, the current 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk
At a roundtable discussion with members of the media, Marchionne revealed that the upcoming Jeep Grand Cherokee will be built . To our ears, it sounds like Marchionne is referring to the platform currently being used in the Alfa Romeo Giulia—a platform which, in modified form, will underpin the upcoming Alfa Romeo Stelvio SUV and a number of additional new Alfa offerings. With the Giulia and Stelvio both offering all-wheel drive, it shouldn't be difficult for Jeep to integrate an off-road capable 4WD system into the shared platform.
It's a telling, but logical, revelation. Fiat Chrysler is undertaking a massive product shift, in an effort to erase the massive debt the automaker currently carries, and platform sharing is a great way to extend the product portfolio while saving money on development costs. Those plans involve a huge new investment in updating FCA's U.S. manufacturing plants to produce pickup trucks and crossovers, to the tune of $1 billion.
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Notably, that ten-figure investment will go toward revamping FCA production facilities in anticipation of the new Jeep Wagoneer / Grand Wagoneer and the upcoming Jeep Wrangler Pickup. Previously, we reported that the larger, luxurious Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer would be built on a stretched version of the new Grand Cherokee's unibody platform. Update, 1/11/17: Turns out that's not the case—FCA has revealed that the Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer will be body-on-frame, built on a modified version of a Ram pickup frame.