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Coronavirus Delivers Another Blow To Jeep’s Newest Models

Jeep Grand Cherokee
2020 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk

There is both anticipation and mystery surrounding the all new WL-generation Jeep Grand Cherokee. Its debut is confirmed for this year, originally intended for the Detroit Auto Show. Unfortunately, the show’s cancelation postponed multiple FCA reveals. Now, Automotive News reports Coronavirus has pushed back the production of the new Grand Cherokee as well, along with its larger Grand Wagoneer sibling.

In a webinar with Automotive News, FCA confirmed it told suppliers the new Grand Cherokee and Grand Wagoneer production will be delayed by three months, and means the new utility vehicles won’t make it to dealerships until 2021. FCA also told Automotive News they were planning to progressively restart production in North American factories on May 4 for existing models.

As we have reported earlier, the 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee is could go down two paths. There is a chance Jeep could use the Alfa Romeo Giorgio Platform, but it would result in drastic changes and engineering costs. Another option is Jeep delivering a heavily revised SUV on the current WK2 platform. Whatever they do, the Grand Cherokee is expected to grow in size slightly and add a third row option. Hybrid models should also make an addition to the lineup.

2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee Interior
An early look at the WL Jeep Grand Cherokee Interior.

The report also indicates a new Grand Wagoneer is coming this year, corroborating earlier rumors. This big SUV should be body on frame shared with the Ram 1500, and will be larger than the unibody Grand Cherokee. Rumors also suggest Jeep could split the model into two variants.

The base version will be a cheaper Wagoneer that competes with full size American SUV’s like the Ford Expedition and Chevrolet Tahoe Z71, and GMC Yukon AT4. Above that, the Grand Wagoneer would be Jeep’s first true luxury vehicle, going head to head with the Ford Expedition King Ranch, GMC Yukon Denali, and even the Range Rover. Being a Jeep, it should have more of an off-road focus than much of its competition.

Despite production delays, still expect the two reveals sometime this year.

Jeep Grand Cherokee Logo

Written by Sam Krahn

Sam graduated with a communications Degree from Wayne State University, where he was also a member of the swim team. He's interested to see how new technology will affect the American performance vehicle landscape.

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