Dodge Dart dies in September.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has announced plans to investment more than $1 billion into assembly plants in Illinois and Ohio to support the Jeep brand.

The Belvidere Assembly Plant in Illinois will receive an investment of $350 million to produce the Jeep Cherokee.  The crossover is currently being built in Toledo, Ohio but production will be moved to Belvidere in 2017 following the phase out of the Dodge Dart in September and the Jeep Compass / Patriot in December.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne announced plans to cease production of the Chrysler 200 and Dodge Dart back in January.  The two models never caught on with consumers but the executive hinted they could be revived if a suitable manufacturing partner is found.

The rest of the company's money is going to the Toledo Assembly Complex which will receive $700 million to produce the next-generation Jeep Wrangler.  The redesigned model will follow in the footsteps of its predecessor but adopt a more aerodynamic design and lightweight aluminum components.  The model is also expected to feature an assortment of different engines including a diesel, a hybrid, and a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder that could produce up to 300 horsepower.

The investments are dependent on state and local incentives but they are widely expected to be approved as they will help create 1,000 new jobs.

Source: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles

Be part of something big