Last month it was reported that the Jeep Grand Wagoneer had been cancelled due to platform constraints and costs. However, it would now appear that the full-size SUV has been delayed rather than scrapped entirely as per an Automotive News report.
Despite the newfound information, it’s still not entirely clear why the Grand Wagoneer has been sidelined. Even so, it’s not difficult to come up with a few ideas, with AN pointing to Fiat Chrysler’s shortage of resources as one of the most likely factors in the vehicle’s postponed arrival.
FCA currently has many projects in play: it is attempting to re-launch Alfa Romeo on a global scale and turn Jeep into a globally-recognized entity, all while developing the next-generation Jeep Wrangler and Wrangler pickup, the next-generation Ram 1500, and re-tooling a variety of manufacturing facilities as per its planned production site shuffle. All that requires resources, both human and financial, and it seems as though FCA hasn’t any left for the Grand Wagoneer.
Part of the reason the Grand Wagoneer presents such a dilemma is that FCA really has nowhere to build it. The full-size SUV was to be based on an extended-length version of the platform that underpins the Jeep Grand Cherokee, which means the body-on-frame Warren Assembly plant that was initially in the running to make the SUV would have had to undergo a costly transformation, as it’s not equipped to produce unibody vehicles. FCA’s other potential assembly site for the vehicle, Jefferson North, isn’t large enough to accommodate production of a full-size SUV.
But not all is lost for the Grand Wagoneer, as FCA is rumored to be looking at making the vehicle on a body-on-frame architecture, which would help save on development costs and allow it to be built without significant investment in Warren truck plant. This would set the SUV in the crosshairs of vehicles like the GMC Yukon and Lincoln Navigator rather than higher-end Land Rover Range Rover, which FCA was initially rumored to be targeting.