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Jeep to build new models in Italy with US-built drivetrains

Company CEO Sergio Marchionne announced Friday that new Jeep models will be built at Alfa Romeo’s Mirafiori plant in Turin, Italy but those vehicles will be powered by engines and transmissions from US plants.


Little information about the new model is offered, other than the fact that this plant will produce compact and midsized vehicles – likely all based on the new Alfa Romeo Giulietta C-EVO platform. The majority of these Italian-built Jeeps will be headed to markets outside of Italy, with many of them ending up in the North America. These new Italian-built Jeep models destined for the US and Canada will be powered by the 3.6L Pentastar engine, which will be built in Chrysler Trenton South engine facility and the transmissions for the US-spec models will also come from US plants. There was no indication as to whether the drivetrain components would be shipped to Italy for production or if the engines and transmissions would be installed in the US.

Earlier this year, there were rumors that Dodge will also receive a new compact based on the Alfa Romeo Giulietta C-EVO platform, but there was no mention of that in Marchionne’s announcement to the Italian auto union on Friday. In addition to the Italian plant building new Jeep (and maybe Dodge) model based on existing Alfa Romeo architecture, there are also plans for the Maserati brand to feature a new luxo-sport SUV based on the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee.

Platform sharing like this was something that we did not see from Chrysler when they were in cahoots with Daimler but these actions should help both sides of the equation, as well as consumers. Sharing technology across brands and models allows to spread R&D costs across more models, allowing the companies (in theory) to charge less for the vehicles. Also, with more vehicles being built at existing plants both in the US and abroad, it helps keep plants active and auto workers employed.

Source: The Detroit News