Chrysler expanding Detroit plant for car-based Grand Cherokee

Click above for big gallery of the current Jeep Grand Cherokee

Jeep has a long and illustrious history with the Cherokee and Grand Cherokee, and that lineage will continue on, albeit with some modifications to remain relevant to the times. Unlike many of its closest rivals that used a body-on-frame approach (we're looking at you, Explorer), the Grand Cherokee has always been based on a unibody platform. But it looks like future Grand Cherokees will be moving on to a car-based platform rather than its own dedicated one. To retool for this new vehicle program, Chrysler has announced that its Jefferson North Assembly Plant in Detroit will be getting a $1.8 billion renovation that should employ 400 new workers -- a boon for the weary Detroit-area economy.

While purists may not like the idea of a car-based Grand Cherokee, we can't imagine that Chrysler would make the mistake of alienating its vast army of die-hard Jeep fans by making its flagship product too road-biased. Remember too that the Grand Cherokee name has always been affixed to a model that's a bit less rough-and-tumble than other more hardcore Jeep models like the Wrangler. Expect to see the next-gen Grand Cherokee sometime in 2010. Thanks for the tip, Roger!

[Sources: Dow Jones Newswire, Automotive News - sub. req'd]

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