Stampings for the next-gen Jeep Wrangler will be sourced from the Sterling Stamping Plant in Sterling Heights, Mich., FCA announced this week. The automaker announced last year that it would invest $166 million in the 51-year-old stamping plant. That money went toward adding three new press lines, and now we know the investment was made in part to accommodate Wrangler.
FCA says the investment will support future growth of the Jeep and Ram brands and will raise annual capacity by 20 million stampings per year. The plant currently produces body panels for Jeep Grand Cherokee and Ram truck models. Sterling Stamping will also supply body parts for the next-gen Ram 1500, which will be built at the nearby Sterling Heights Assembly Plant, the former home of the Chrysler 200 and Dodge Dart. In January, FCA announced an update to its five-year business plan that detailed a shift away from cars toward SUVs and trucks, a move it said was in line with customer demand.
As we previously reported, FCA is investing more than $1 billion in support of Jeep production. The funds will benefit the Belvidere Assembly plant in Illinois, which will start building the Jeep Cherokee in 2017, and the Toledo Assembly Complex in Ohio, which will build the next-gen Wrangler. The money will be spent on retooling and other upgrades. FCA says it has invested more than $8.3 billion in its U.S. manufacturing operations since 2009, and of that amount, $3.5 billion has gone toward Michigan plants.