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Cherokee going to SHAP, who gets GUS?

by David Zatz on

Allpar sources are now divided in whether the Jeep Cherokee “KL” is moving to join the Chrysler 200 in Sterling Heights to make room for the Jeep Wrangler “JL” — or whether it’s heading for Belvidere to join with the Dart.

The Sterling Heights plant has a massive new body shop, and 200, Cherokee, and Dart are all closely related in key dimensions. In theory, Dart could also move into the plant, leaving Belvidere open for a long renovation. Belvidere could also host Cherokee, once Patriot and Compass are finally stopped.

Ron Bloom at SHAP

The question would turn to who gets the “G-US” platform/architecture, or “plature,” (to coin a short word meaning “the basic dimensions and layout of a car”).  G-US would be the American version of an FCA-wide setup created for Alfa Romeo and Dodge.

If Cherokee, Dart, and 200 were put together, it could strain one plant’s capacity, but then G-US could move into the vacated plant. It could also move into the Toledo plant that was created for Wrangler, once the latter shifts into the Cherokee’s old digs; or to Toluca; or to a new or renovated plant. There is no shortage of old assembly plants in the Detroit area, including the old Plymouth plant (though it’s partly occupied) and the old axle plant down the street from it, and then there are states eager to buy a car plant, and low-wage Mexico.

Sterling Heights Stamping Plant

Toluca, Mexico is also a question mark, since the Journey and Fiat 500 are both expected to leave. We suspect the low labor rates will result in small cars being built there, namely Chrysler 100, a possible Dodge Hornet, and, given a better than expected reception, the Jeep Renegade, likely after its refresh.

David Zatz founded Allpar in 1998 (based on a site he had begun in 1993-94), after years of writing reviews for retail trades. He has been quoted by the New York Times, the Daily Telegraph, the Detroit News, and USA Today. Before making Allpar a full-time career, he was a consultant in organizational psychology. You can reach him by using our contact form (much preferred) or by calling (313) 766-2304


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