The global boss of Mopar has rebuffed rumours that the Hemi V8 engine is set to end production in 2019.
Various US media outlets have speculated that production of the Hemi V8 was destined to wind up, as tighter emissions targets and a renewed focus on fuel consumption, put large-capacity V8 engines in danger.
“There’s no doubt there has been speculation,” Pietro Gorlier, head of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ parts and service arm, Mopar, told Australian media at the SEMA show.
“There are of course trends to downsizing engines and hybrid power plants, et cetera, but so far the V8 is an important part of our portfolio. I cannot speculate what we will do in 2019, but the Hemi V8 is an ongoing part of our portfolio.”
Above: the Hemi-powered Grand Cherokee SRT
When told that the two-door Challenger and four-door Charger would almost certainly be sales successes in Australia, Gorlier confirmed that there is no immediate plan to bring either vehicle to Australia or indeed to produce them in RHD.
“Our focus for Australia at the moment, though, is Jeep. That is where we have the most impact. For example, in the USA, 98 per cent of Wranglers that are sold have at least one of our accessories, and Australia has the same potential for modification.”
Gorlier went on to explain that Australia is one of the markets being considered for a new concept the band calls Mopar Custom Shop.
The concept store, ten of which have already been opened in North America (and one in Brazil), allows dealers to option Jeeps in any way the customer wants from the Mopar catalogue at the point of ordering the vehicle.
The pricing is slightly cheaper because the parts are ordered in one lot and sent to the custom shop with the new vehicle. The parts are then fitted there, and the customer can collect their accessorised Mopar Jeep ready to roll.