Jeep Trick: FCA Unveils Big SUV Plans

Fans of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Jeep, Maserati and Ram) will remember the last time the automaker rolled out a five-year plan — rare for an industry known to keep future products under wraps as long as possible. Well, it's that time again: In a string of investor presentations, FCA unveiled plans for the next half-decade of cars, self-driving technology, environmental initiatives and other business dealings.

Related: Late-Coming 2018 Fiat 500 Gets More Power, Higher Price

The Italy-based automaker confirmed rumors to phase out all diesel passenger vehicles by early next decade and unveiled sprawling plans for Jeep, Ram, Maserati and Alfa Romeo. Among them are a new Jeep Grand Commander SUV that arrives this year, two new three-row SUVs and a slew of redesigns by 2022, and a new Desert Hawk rating that follows the brand's Trailhawk and Trackhawk designations. FCA also said that by 2022, Ram will get a redesigned heavy-duty pickup.

Check out our coverage on PickupTrucks.com for a deeper dive on the Jeep and Ram plans. FCA added that by 2022, Maserati will have a redesigned Quattroporte and Levante, plus a smaller SUV and a new sports car called the Alfieri. Alfa Romeo, meanwhile, will get two new SUVs plus extended-length versions of the Giulia and Stelvio.

It's unclear which of those products will make it to the U.S., however, and you should take these details with a grain of salt: During FCA's last five-year plan, it said the Chrysler brand would get a new minivan, two new SUVs, a Chrysler 100 compact sedan and a refresh on the second-gen 200 sedan — all by 2018. That's not quite a case of Lotus' proposed lineup that never got off the ground, but four of those five from FCA didn't materialize.

Downplayed in this year's conference were more details on the Chrysler, Dodge and noncommercial Fiat brands. Indeed, FCA's financial presentation indicated plans to devote only about a quarter of product-related capital expenditures from 2018-22 on all three entities combined, versus nearly half of all capital expenditures earmarked for Jeep. The apparent diminishment aligns with a Bloomberg report from Wednesday that FCA planned to downsize the Fiat and Chrysler brands in favor of Jeep.

The Fiat brand appears far from done yet, at least from a global standpoint. FCA said it will get new SUVs for Latin America markets, plus battery-electric versions of the 500, including one called the 500 Giardiniera. No word on how much battery-acid reflux that last one might cause.

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