Plymouth Road (PROC) stripped, foreclosed

Months ago, Detroit News reported that the historic home of Kelvinator, American Motors, and Jeep-Truck Engineering, known in recent years as the Plymouth Road Office Complex (PROC), was reportedly being slowly destroyed as its new owner was tearing out valuable metals.

When the old Chrysler Group went into bankruptcy, PROC was not transferred to the new Chrysler Group; the bankrupt entity sold it to a new owner, who flipped it to Terry Williams, convicted in 2004 of running a “chop shop” (an outfit that takes apart stolen cars and sells the parts), and who reportedly owed $930,000 in taxes on the property by April 2013. Williams claimed that he was not actually destroying the facility to get scrap metal, and said he had a federal grant to convert the building into a home for autistic children. The Detroit News appeared dubious about his evidence for having such a grant, and these photos, taken recently by former JTE electrical engineer Robert Klacza, show good cause for their skepticism.

The building was opened in 1927 as a refrigerator factory for Kelvinator.  While the building itself is in good shape and has a grand facade, and has been modernized to support truck and Jeep engineering and prototyping, it failed to sell during the mid-2000s with an asking price of $10 million.  The picturesque complex in an unsavory section of Detroit has multiple buildings, with 1.5 million square feet of space on 50 acres; that includes 370,000 square feet of R&D space, 500,000 square feet of engineering/computer room space, warehousing, and administrative/office space. The complex also had a health activity center, auditorium, and cafeteria.

The city was to have foreclosed in 2014, but appears to have moved forward more quickly, most likely as a result of newspaper coverage.

While efforts are under way to save old Ford plants in Detroit, no such rescue attempts appear to have been organized for this grand facility which has no shortage of historical significance; it may, indeed, be too late for any attempt at preservation or serious re-use, with cabling likely torn out. However, it is ironic that as Chrysler runs short on office space in Auburn Hills, a development center which was until recently used to design and prototype Jeeps and Dodge trucks is in the hands of the district court, exposed to vandals, thieves, and the elements.

See more photos of the Plymouth Road Office Complex (PROC) as it was, and as it is now.


See more photos of the Plymouth Road Office Complex (PROC) as it was, and as it is now.

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FCA inventory under control


FCA has gotten inventory levels under control in the US, according to Automotive News.  The company has 73 days of stock, versus GM’s 79 days and Ford’s 80 days. It’s above any major import’s inventory, but the wide range of pickups tends to swell American lots.

As the car market drops, dealers have 19,900 Chrysler 200s and 16,500 Darts on their lots;

Read the full story: FCA inventory under control  »

Rendering the Grand Cherokee

DarkSky envisioned a somewhat Range Rover-influenced 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee, keeping roughly the same body shape but altering the front. This design makes the front end both more conventional and more aggressive, while separating it from the Cherokee and Compass alike.

This goes along, somewhat, with the photos recently seen on a Jeep display, assumed by many to be a Wagoneer. Once the size is corrected for,

Read the full story: Rendering the Grand Cherokee  »

Where are Wranglers sold?

2015 Jeep Wrangler Altitude

The Jeep Wrangler is an American staple, but it’s sold around the world. Recently, as part of a recall, FCA revealed the sales distribution of the 2016-17 Wrangler.

The great bulk of vehicles — 182,743 — were sold or distributed to the United States. Around 10% of those, 18,011, were in Canada. Accounting for around 20% of the Canadian number were 3,087 in Mexico. Finally, 20,948 were sold outside North America — a bit over 10%.

Read the full story: Where are Wranglers sold?  »

Which Rams and Jeeps will we see?

The last few days have brought numerous photos to the fore; but which will we see?

The big truck-based Wagoneer, so far as it’s based on the photos above, seems least likely, at least in that form. Looking at it after the two images were set to the same scale, you can see that the “new Jeep” is likely closely based on the Grand Cherokee, which is in line with past company statements.

Read the full story: Which Rams and Jeeps will we see?  »

The Renegade-influenced Wrangler

Reddit member “arcsreddit” recently shared this photo of a Renegade-fronted Jeep Wrangler was photographed, in part-size clay-model form (which looks incredibly real).  While it’s hard to criticize on its appearance, it could send the wrong message — that the Wrangler has been “Renegaded” and lost capability.

Sources have told us that the next Wrangler will be as capable as the current one, if not more so;

Read the full story: The Renegade-influenced Wrangler  »

FCA inventory under control

Rendering the Grand Cherokee
2015 Jeep Wrangler Altitude
Where are Wranglers sold?

Which Rams and Jeeps will we see?

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