Jeep Grand Cherokee Gets Three-row Seat Design for 2021 Model

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jk-forum.com Three-Row 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee

Inactive Detroit engine plant will now serve as the production site for the roomier version of Jeep’s premier SUV.

Jeep has been on a roll the past several years. It brought the Cherokee nameplate back to North America starting with the 2014 model year. It introduced us to the Renegade back in 2015. The second-generation Compass came a couple of years later. We experienced the all-new JL Wrangler in late 2017. Early this year, we drove the facelifted Cherokee. The 2020 Gladiator is coming. Jeep has introduced new versions of the Grand Cherokee, including the Trailhawk and Trackhawk, and made improvements to it for the better part of a decade, but at its core, the WK2 dates back to MY 2011.

Now comes word from The Detroit News that the all-new, next-generation Grand Cherokee will come out as a 2021 model and be available in two- and three-row configurations. It’s an important vehicle for the brand in more ways than one. Not only does the Grand Cherokee compete in a popular segment, but the newest version of it will give FCA a great reason to reopen its Mack Avenue Engine II plant in Detroit and address one of its major problems: production capacity.

jk-forum.com Three-Row 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee

According to the Detroit News, “Fiat Chrysler’s North American assembly plants are currently running at 92 percent capacity.” That’s in stark contrast to Ford and GM, who were running at 81 and 72 percent, respectively, through November. Things are worse at FCA’s Jefferson North plant that currently produces the Grand Cherokee, Grand Cherokee SRT, and Dodge Durango. Those are so popular that the facility is operating at 130 percent capacity and offering extra shifts just to meet demand.

jk-forum.com Three-Row 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee

To make Mack II (aka “Plant X”), which has been idle since 2012, a full production facility, FCA will have to add at least a body and paint shop, according to sources familiar with the story. Once Mack II starts manufacturing three-row Grand Cherokees, FCA will start retooling the Jefferson North Assembly Plant so it can crank out even more of those, as well as two-row Grand Cherokees.

FCA will likely begin construction on Mack II sometime next year. At some point in 2019, it’ll also start setting up the Warren Truck Assembly Plant to crank out another 2021 three-row Jeep: the full-size Wagoneer.

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Derek Shiekhi's father raised him on cars. As a boy, Derek accompanied his dad as he bought classics such as post-WWII GM trucks and early Ford Mustang convertibles.

After loving cars for years and getting a bachelor's degree in Business Management, Derek decided to get an associate degree in journalism. His networking put him in contact with the editor of the Austin-American Statesman newspaper, who hired him to write freelance about automotive culture and events in Austin, Texas in 2013. One particular story led to him getting a certificate for learning the foundations of road racing.

While watching TV with his parents one fateful evening, he saw a commercial that changed his life. In it, Jeep touted the Wrangler as the Texas Auto Writers Association's "SUV of Texas." Derek knew he had to join the organization if he was going to advance as an automotive writer. He joined the Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA) in 2014 and was fortunate to meet several nice people who connected him to the representatives of several automakers and the people who could give him access to press vehicles (the first one he ever got the keys to was a Lexus LX 570). He's now a regular at TAWA's two main events: the Texas Auto Roundup in the spring and the Texas Truck Rodeo in the fall.

Over the past several years, Derek has learned how to drive off-road in various four-wheel-drive SUVs (he even camped out for two nights in a Land Rover), and driven around various tracks in hot hatches, muscle cars, and exotics. Several of his pieces, including his article about the 2015 Ford F-150 being crowned TAWA's 2014 "Truck of Texas" and his review of the Alfa Romeo 4C Spider, have won awards in TAWA's annual Excellence in Craft Competition. Last year, his JK Forum profile of Wagonmaster, a business that restores Jeep Wagoneers, won prizes in TAWA’s signature writing contest and its pickup- and SUV-focused Texas Truck Invitational.

In addition to writing for a variety of Internet Brands sites, including JK Forum, H-D Forums, The Mustang Source, Mustang Forums, LS1Tech, HondaTech, Jaguar Forums, YotaTech, and Ford Truck Enthusiasts. Derek also started There Will Be Cars on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube.

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