New generation model will also revive an idled factory

The next-generation Jeep Grand Cherokee will reportedly be available with the option of three rows of seats.

According to the Detroit News, the new crossover is due to go on sale in the US as a 2021 model year car, with production scheduled to begin towards the end of 2020.

Initially only three-row versions will be manufactured. A two-row version of the Grand Cherokee should start trundling down the production line around six months after its three-row sibling.

It's unknown if the two- and three-row Grand Cherokees will share the same body, or if the more commodious variant will have a longer rear overhang.

In a rare piece of good news for unionised auto workers in the USA, Fiat Chrysler is set to convert its idled Mack Avenue Engine Plant II into a car-making facility to make the new Grand Cherokee, possibly requiring the construction of a new body and paint shop.

As with other recent FCA launches, the Detroit Free Press believes the company may keep the current Grand Cherokee in production while it ramps up the new model. This should smooth over any issues getting the new plant up to speed, as well as temporarily providing a cheaper alternative to the new car.

The Jefferson North factory will be retooled later to produce other new products for the company. An announcement about the next-generation Grand Cherokee and the factory revival are expected before the end of the year.