To date, the automotive industry has spent the majority of the year dealing with supply chain issues brought on by a shortage of semiconductors. As a result, car companies have had to stop or greatly reduce production at many North American plants.
However, despite those challenges, Stellantis has been able to open a new facility. Production of two Jeep Grand Cherokee models is underway at the automaker’s Mack Avenue assembly complex on Detroit’s east side.
“You don’t want to have production interrupted when you’re in the middle of a major launch.” —Paul Eisenstein, The Detroit Bureau
Paul Eisenstein is publisher of automotive website The Detroit Bureau. He says the plant’s status, building vehicles that are new to the automaker’s lineup, has helped ensure the facility gets off the ground.
“Products like the Jeep Grand Cherokee,” says Eisenstein, “they really need to get out in large numbers — because you don’t want to have production interrupted when you’re in the middle of a major launch.”
Analysts say some Stellantis models, like the Ontario-built Chrysler Town & Country minivan, are facing extremely low new vehicle inventories. However, Eisenstein says keeping production rolling at the Mack Avenue plant is on the minds of company executives.
“One of the things they may have to do,” says Eisenstein, “is essentially swipe chips that might have gone into other slower selling or lower profit products to use at the Mack Avenue plant.”
Eisenstein says the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Grand Cherokee L are important to the automaker’s place in the SUV market. The company is facing competition in the space from rivals such as Ford, which is rolling out its Bronco sport utility.
Listen: The Detroit Bureau’s Paul Eisenstein discusses production at Stellantis’ Detroit Assembly Complex.