Supplier sources have told Automotive News' Fiat Chrysler (FCA) correspondent that development Grand Wagoneer has been put on hold.
Many believe that the new Grand Wagoneer, as currently envisioned, will share its platform with the next-generation Grand Cherokee. In order for it accommodate a third row of seats and for high-end models to potentially compete with the Range Rover, it will feature a longer wheelbase, a unique body, and even more luxury features.
The industry publication believes that there are two main factors at play behind this pause in the car's development: cash and factory constraints.
Above: Original Jeep Grand Wagoneer.
At present, FCA is the only the top-tier automaker with more debt than cash, and is currently working to reduce its debt burden to just US$5 billion ($6.6 billion).
With company resources thin, executives have reportedly decided to concentrate on more pressing matters, namely replacements for the high-volume, high-margin Jeep Wrangler and Ram pickup truck, as well as the on-going transformation of Alfa Romeo into a BMW competitor.
With the low-margin and slow-selling Dodge Dart and Chrysler 200 nudged out the door, FCA is also spending considerable time, money and effort in moving model allocation around its various North American plants.
Unfortunately, despite this, the factory tasked with building the Grand Cherokee and any potential Grand Cherokee-based Grand Wagoneer would be limited to building vehicles no larger than today's Dodge Durango — itself a long-wheelbase Grand Cherokee derivative.
That might limit space in the third row and cause it to suffer the same fate as the Jeep Commander. Automotive News speculates that FCA may get around this issue by rebooting the whole project, and shifting the Grand Wagoneer onto the Ram pickup platform.
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