NEW YORK – Chrysler will build the next-generation Jeep Compass/Patriot or Liberty at partner Fiat’s Mirafiori assembly plant near Turin, Italy, Jeep CEO Mike Manley confirms to Ward’s on the sidelines of the New York auto show.
“We haven’t announced which of the Jeep models will come from Turin at this stage, but certainly next-generation C or D – Compass/Patriot/Liberty – will be built in Turin, and we will export from there.”
The C-segment Compass and Patriot currently are produced at Chrysler’s Belvidere, IL, plant and the D-segment Liberty is built in Toledo, OH.
The Windsor Star Tuesday reported production of the Compass/Patriot will be moved to Turin, quoting Doug Shepard, senior associate at Automotive Compass, a research and consulting firm that regularly distributes an advisory report on global auto production.
Shepard also told the newspaper he has confirmation from both U.S. and European sources that the Alfa Romeo Giulia D-segment sedan will be moved from Mirafiori to Belvidere. “It’s one more step on the road toward the global integration of Chrysler and Fiat.”
Start of production is January 2013 for both plants, Shepard says.
Asked whether there are any other plans to manufacture Jeeps in Europe, Manley says there is “absolutely nothing announced at this time. You’ve seen our forecast for next-generation (that) takes us to 2013. Beyond that who knows.
“When you have an opportunity to look at a more global basis about where to manufacture, we’ll obviously see what’s the best way to do that.”
Regarding vehicles coming from Turin, “everything will need to be lined up to make sure the plant runs properly and effectively,” he says.
“Our manufacturing guys and (parts and service) guys will be looking at that in time, as you would normally do in any plant, to make sure you supply (parts) as close as you can.”