• Jul 2, 2007


Production of the next generation Dodge Durango and Chrysler Aspen will apparently be moving from New Jersey Delaware to Detroit alongside the Jeep Grand Cherokee at Chrysler's Jefferson North Assembly Plant. The new models are expected by the end of 2009 and preliminary work has begun to reconfigure the plant to accommodate them. The Durango/Aspen will evidently share a platform with the Grand Cherokee, while the absence of the soon-to-be-cancelled Commander will free up plenty of space at the Jefferson North plant for all three models, and possibly the yet-to-be-named JC49 crossover.

Since other SUVs like the Explorer are moving away from body-on-frame designs, it seems probable that all the Chrysler models will use the next generation of the Grand Cherokees unit-body platform. If the Durango/Aspen move to a new platform at the end of the 2009, that would mean a very short run for the hybrid versions of those vehicles, which are due out in the second half of 2008.

[Source: Detroit Free Press]


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  • 22 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      The Dodge Nitro looks like it could have been the plain ole Cherokee reinvented. This vehicle says Jeep all over it. I dont know why they deceided to make it a Dodge. The plain jane Cherokee is missed.
        • 7 Years Ago
        You must have not seen the photos of the 2008 Liberty.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Perhaps it's just a misconception but it was assumed even a hybrid "cross-over" was not going to be a volume seller. Perhaps Chrysler knows more about the price of gas and see's no need to provide an economy class vehicle. Perhaps the few million owners of the smaller cars will convert to the Durango. Wise move from a company that got a fresh new beginning.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Autoblog - please learn to read a map. Newark, DE (pronounced "new - ark" by the locals, the NJ city is pronounced "new-work", emphasis for both is on the first syllable) is closer to Pennsylvania than NJ.
        • 7 Years Ago
        First it's more like "noo-erk," blended together rather fast. Second, when I would leave UofD (Newark, DE) I could get back home in South Jersey faster than I could get to Delaware County, PA. If anything it's closer to Maryland than the other two.
        • 7 Years Ago
        I'm from Rutherford, and it's pronounced "New-whark"...
      • 7 Years Ago
      Yes Delaware! With the new CAFE regulations just around the corner, it makes sense to prepare for a cut in SUV sales and build them in one plant. The next generation of all trucks will probably lean heavy on diesel engine usage. Just don't try to make the Aspen/Durango like a Jeep and the Grand Cherokee like a car. We will miss the Commander. If I was in the market it would be at the top of the list.
        • 7 Years Ago
        That's quite a paradox--the Commander is (almost) at the bottom of Consumer Reports' list. I guess someone has to like it.
        • 7 Years Ago
        I may be the only person on the planet that digs the Commander.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I have an off topic question. Since Chrysler is no longer owned by a German company, are they finally apart of the Big 3 and not the Big 2.5?

      In regards to the post, I think it is very smart of them to make these SUVs unibody. However, Dodge needs to make more cars and stop filling themselves up with crossovers and SUVs.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Snooooore. The Grand Cherokee hasn't been relevant in 10 years.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I can see why they will share platforms. I just hope they don't water down the Jeep Chassis. Even a luxo grand can rock crawl. Try that with your lexus crossover.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Ah Bob-omb,the Grand Cherokee WAS relevant in the past 10 years ah,yeah it was the second best seller in its class until 2 years ago !!! Especially the 99-04 models were very popular not to mention a blast to drive 14.7 1/4 not bad.4.7 h.o version was and if you include the new srt grand is still very relavavt if not in your face!!
      • 7 Years Ago
      The Durango is made in Newark, Delaware, not Newark, NJ.
      • 7 Years Ago
      "That's quite a paradox--the Commander is (almost) at the bottom of Consumer Reports' list. I guess someone has to like it."

      Wrong, It and the Grand Cherokee are around the middle of the list. Land Rover is at the very bottom. Check your facts. My Commander has 18K and has never had anything more than some oil changes. LOVE IT!
      • 7 Years Ago
      The gran cherokee sales have died because the commander is gaining market share and eating them up. The commander name may die, BUT the next grand will probally look simlualr between the 2.........TrailHawk Concept..new I say more?
      Greg A.
      • 7 Years Ago
      What happens if Chrysler and GM reach an agreement to share the GMT900 SUVs?
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