Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) announced that it is investing $4.5 billion in five of its existing Michigan factories and part of that investment is going to enable plug-in electric Jeep production and possibly all-electric vehicle production in the future.
The automaker is listing many different projects as part of this large investment plan and two of them are related to electrification:
- Enables electrification of new Jeep models
- All three assembly sites would also produce plug-in hybrid versions of their respective Jeep models with the flexibility to build fully battery-electric models in the future
Mike Manley, Chief Executive Officer, FCA N.V., commented on the announcement:
“Three years ago, FCA set a course to grow our profitability based on the strength of the Jeep and Ram brands by realigning our U.S. manufacturing operations. Today’s announcement represents the next step in that strategy. It allows Jeep to enter two white space segments that offer significant margin opportunities and will enable new electrified Jeep products, including at least four plug-in hybrid vehicles and the flexibility to produce fully battery-electric vehicles.”
Last year, FCA announces a bunch of new all-electric vehicles across most of its brands including Jeep.
By 2022, the company says that they will have 10 plug-in hybrid Jeep vehicles and 4 all-electric Jeep vehicles:
While I’m always happy to see more investment in the production of electric vehicles, this investment plan looks weak to me.
It sounds like the vast majority of the $4.5 billion is going to expand the production of gas-powered vehicles.
They didn’t break down the investment in their electric vehicle efforts, but it was only a small part of the entire press release about the new investment plan.
If you are planning future production investment today and it’s not in all-electric vehicles, you’re doing it wrong.
The fact that they are only planning to have the “flexibility” to produce all-electric vehicles with this new investment plan is mind-boggling to me.
Are you planning to make them or not? Why you need flexibility?
FCA looks so far behind when it comes to all-electric vehicles right now. Even if they would have invested the entire $4.5 billion into EVs, I think they would still have a tough time catching up.
I think they need to wake up and move faster or they will end up one of the giants that will fall because of the electric vehicle revolution.
What do you think? Let us know in the comment section below.
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