FCA receives approval, tax breaks for next-gen Jeep production

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles on Tuesday received approval and tax incentive agreements from Detroit and Michigan officials to support production of next-generation Jeeps, namely a redesigned Grand Cherokee, a new model with third-row seats, and a body-on-frame Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer.

Michigan will provide tax incentives valued at $223.5 million and contribute a total of $261 million to support additional FCA production in the state, Governor Gretchen Whitmer said in a speech on Tuesday, The Detroit News reported.

Part of the state funds is a $55 million bill for land assembly activities including land acquisition and site preparation. This included a land swap deal with Detroit billionaire Manuel Moroun, whose businesses control portions of the city including the Ambassador Bridge that crosses over to Canada.

In return, FCA will invest $4.5 billion in five Michigan sites and create close to 6,500 jobs. Those jobs are expected to pay an average of $58,000 annually, FCA North America Chief Operating Officer Mark Stewart revealed to The Detroit News.

Jeep 2022 roadmap

Jeep 2022 roadmap

The plans were announced in February and will see the establishment of Detroit’s first major automotive plant in nearly 30 years.

The new plant will be constructed at the site of the Mack Avenue Engine Complex, which currently assembles V-6 engines. It will be used for the new 3-row Jeep due to enter production in late 2020 and the redesigned Grand Cherokee due to roll off the line in the first half of 2021.

The plans will also see the adjacent Jefferson North Assembly Plant retooled and modernized to support production of the current Dodge Durango and additional examples of the redesigned Grand Cherokee.

And finally the Warren Truck Assembly Plant is to be retooled for production of the Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer. The big SUVs are tentatively due to start production in early 2021.

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Tesla rolls out location-based activation preferences for Sentry Mode

Tesla has started rolling out Sentry Mode preferences to its vehicles, giving owners more control of their electric cars’ built-in security system. The new Sentry Mode options were reported by Tesla owners whose vehicles recently received the company’s 2019.16.2 firmware update.

Screenshots shared by the Tesla community show that Sentry Mode now has location-based activation options. Among these are “Exclude Home,” “Exclude Work,” and “Exclude Preferences.” These options will likely be appreciated by Tesla owners, as they could be assured that their vehicles will not trigger the security system while it is parked in places like their garage.

Tesla has been improving Sentry Mode since releasing the camera-based security system earlier this year. For example, initial iterations of Sentry Mode required Tesla owners to manually activate the security feature every time they leave their vehicle. Later versions of Sentry Mode improved this, by having the system enable when the car is put into Park.

Activating Sentry Mode has become easier as well, with a dedicated button being placed on the vehicles’ infotainment screens. New voice commands, including a Rick and Morty Easter Egg that involves users activating the security system with the phrase “Keep Summer Safe,” has also been introduced.

Tesla has used location-based data for its vehicles’ features in the past. Among these include Smart Air Suspension for the Model S and Model X, which allows the Model S and Model X to change their ride height depending on their location, as well as auto folding mirrors for the Model 3.

Sentry Mode was rolled out by the electric car maker partly as a response to a string of break-ins seemingly targeting Tesla’s electric vehicles. In true Elon Musk fashion, the security system includes several pop culture references, including the glowing red “eye” of 2001: A Space Odyssey’s AI villain, HAL 9000, which informs people that the vehicle is recording footage.

It has only been a few months since Sentry Mode was released, but the system had already proven itself to be incredibly useful for Tesla owners. Since its release, Sentry has helped identify individuals vandalizing or breaking into the company’s vehicles, including a person deliberately keying a Model 3 in broad daylight, as well as a politician who opted to drive away after scratching a Tesla in a parking lot, to name a few.

Tesla rolls out location-based activation preferences for Sentry Mode

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