FCA knows not everyone wants over 700 horsepower.
One of the main reasons why PSA was so interested in merging with FCA was because of one brand: Jeep. Jeep has established an identity that's so strong everyone in the world is aware, and awareness makes for good business. As Jeep continues to expand into more overseas markets, profits will surely increase. And while enthusiasts crave a Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk and its 6.2-liter supercharged Hellcat V8, the majority of buyers want a far more practical and fuel-efficient engine.
Fortunately, FCA has one available and it just made a massive investment to build even more. The automaker has just announced it is investing $400 million to repurpose an idled transmission factory in Kokomo, Indiana. Instead of gearboxes, the facility will soon begin building the automaker's 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, internally called GMET4.
It's already available on the Jeep Wrangler and Jeep Cherokee, but FCA projects demand will continue to increase. The repurposed factory will also create 200 new local jobs and retain 1,000 jobs that would have been eliminated otherwise. All told, the plant's total employment will be 8,300. This engine will also play a big role in FCA's plan to add electrification options. By around 2022, the company aims to offer electric engine options across 30 nameplates globally.
The Indiana plant will serve as the source for all US production of this engine. Currently, it's being built in Italy and US production is due to get underway in the second quarter of 2021. This turbo four obviously plays a major role in the automaker's future.
Not only is it fuel efficient (the Cherokee achieves over 30 mpg highway with it), but it can also likely be adapted to accommodate electrification. More specifically, hybrid technology. In all likelihood, the upcoming Wrangler Hybrid's motor will be coming directly from the Hoosier state.
And, chances are, these American-built engines will later be exported for additional PSA-FCA vehicles in the coming years.