Chrysler Vice-Chairman Tom LaSorda said during a management briefing session that the company was retooling its Jefferson North Assembly plant in Detroit to produce a new line of car-based SUVs beginning in 2010. The plant will be getting a flexible manufacturing arrangement allowing multiple vehicle lines to be produced in the same facility. The question is: What vehicle lines? Right now, Jefferson North builds the Grand Cherokee and Commander, though the latter has already been pronounced dead. So, whither Grand Cherokee? UPDATE: It looks like the new car-based SUV will be the next Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango.
Jalopnik Snap Judgment: The mere fact that Chrysler is retooling Jefferson North for flexible manufacturing is a positive step. We've also heard that the car-based Grand Cherokee coming out in 2010 will make use of the new Phoenix V6 engine, which as reportedly been delivering stellar fuel economy numbers. So what will the end result be? A Chrysler mid-size SUV offering engineered by Nissan or an actual Chrysler-engineered Jeep and Dodge SUV? [Automotive News]