COVID-19

FCA stepping up to produce face masks for first responders, health care workers

Aerial exterior view of the 3.3 million square-foot Chrysler Group's Warren Truck Assembly Plant (Mich.). The facility has been making trucks since 1938 and currently produces the Ram 1500.

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) is used to making Alfa Romeos, Chryslers, Dodges, and Jeeps. Now, the company is transitioning to producing face masks in the wake of a call to action in light of the COVID-19 outbreak.

FCA has committed to manufacturing and donating more than 1 million protective face masks per month, starting in the coming weeks. The company says that this action is the first in a global initiative that has been developed by the company to apply manufacturing, supply chain, and engineering expertise to support the global fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

"Protecting our first responders and health care workers has never been more important," said Mike Manley, FCA CEO. "In addition to the support we are giving to increase the production of ventilators, we canvassed our contacts across the healthcare industry and it was very clear that there is an urgent and critical need for face masks. We've marshalled the resources of the FCA Group to focus immediately on installing production capacity for making masks and supporting those most in need on the front line of this pandemic."

FCA has not confirmed exactly which facilities will be used for the manufacturing.

Distribution is slated to be to first responders and health care workers in the United States, Canada, and Mexico.

The company will be working with national, regional, and city authorities to support distribution to ensure that the masks go to the people and families at highest risk for contamination.

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New electric pickup truck

GMC Hummer EV deliveries to start soon

Hummer EV deliveries will start in December.

GMC

This year has turned out to be as difficult for automakers as 2020 was, if not much more so. The pandemic is still a major factor, and to make matters worse there's a global microchip shortage that heavily impacts automakers' ability to build tech-heavy vehicles. GMC has a big launch left to handle in 2021, and according to a recent call with journalists, it's proceeding as planned. On a recent call with reporters, GMC exec Duncan Aldred noted that Hummer EV pickup deliveries are on track to begin in December. He also elaborated on the truck's EPA range numbers.

2023 GMC Hummer EV The trucks will deliver up to 329 miles on a charge. GMC

The Hummer's EPA range lands at 329, not far from the 350 miles General Motors targeted for the vehicle. Those are the estimates for the limited Hummer Edition 1, which carries a six-figure price tag and gobs of bells and whistles. Aldred said that other models coming later on will offer longer range estimates when they hit the roads sometime in 2023.

A staggering 80 percent of reservations GMC has gathered so far are for the Edition 1 model. Almost half of the 125,000 people who have inquired about the Hummer EV have placed the refundable $100 deposit and the SUV's first year of production is completely sold out.

2023 GMC Hummer EV The Hummer EV's first year of production is sold out. GMC

When it hits the streets later this year, the Hummer EV will be just in time to face off against a growing crop of EV trucks and SUVs. Rivian recently began delivering the R1T electric pickup truck and will continue with the R1S SUV next year. The Ford F-150 Lightning is coming in 2022, and General Motors itself has a Cadillac EV rollout to handle in 2022. Chevy and GMC will show off electric versions of the Silverado and Sierra pickup trucks on January 5 and GMC will push the Hummer SUV EV in 2023.

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Pricing for the new Grand Cherokee starts at $39,185.

Jeep

The Jeep Grand Cherokee is all-new for the 2022 model year. The legendary SUV gets fresh styling, a load of updated tech, and a new 4xe plug-in hybrid model. Today, Jeep announced pricing for the SUV, which is scheduled to arrive on dealers' lots in late 2021.

2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee The Grand Cherokee is all-new for 2022.Jeep

The base Grand Cherokee Laredo starts at $39,185, which includes a $1,795 destination charge. From there, starting prices include:

  • Grand Cherokee Altitude: $43,740
  • Grand Cherokee Limited: $45,505
  • Grand Cherokee Trailhawk (4x4 only): $53,070
  • Grand Cherokee Overland: $55,100
  • Grand Cherokee Summit: $59,160
  • Grand Cherokee Summit Reserve (4x4 only): $65,160
Adding four-wheel drive to a trim that doesn't already have it costs $2,000.

2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee Top trims come decked out with tech and high-end materials.Jeep

Two powertrain options are available for the 2022 model year. The base engine is a 3.6-liter V6 that produces 293 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. The optional 5.7-liter V8 makes 357 horsepower and 390 pound-feet of torque. Both come paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. The 2022 Grand Cherokee is rated to tow up to 7,200 pounds when equipped with the V8 and up to 6,200 pounds with the V6.

2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee Several driver aids come standard for 2022.Jeep

The new SUV gets revised tech and larger displays for all trims. The base Laredo model gets an 8.4-inch touchscreen, and top trims are available with a large 10.1-inch display. There's also a 10.25-inch passenger-side interactive touchscreen display. Jeep made several safety features standard, including active driving assist, drowsy driver detection, intersection collision assist, traffic sign recognition, a 360-degree camera, and a parallel/perpendicular parking assist system. The 2022 Grand Cherokee comes with three years of complimentary maintenance, 24/7 roadside assistance, and phone support or online chat support.

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