Chrysler Won't Confirm 2014 Jeep Cherokee Launch Timing, After Report of Delay


  • 2014 Jeep Cherokee Picture

    2014 Jeep Cherokee Picture

    Chrysler is mum about the specific launch timing for the 2014 Jeep Cherokee, despite word of a delay. | May 15, 2013

Just the Facts:
  • Chrysler on Wednesday declined to confirm when 2014 Jeep Cherokee production will start, after the Detroit Free Press said the launch has been delayed by about a month.
  • "The plant is currently building pilots and will be ready for launch when the management team gives them the green light," wrote Jodi Tinson, a Chrysler spokeswoman, in response to an e-mailed query from Edmunds.
  • Chrysler has said the Cherokee will be in dealer showrooms in the third quarter, but Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne reportedly told analysts in February that the Cherokee would be launched by May 24.

AUBURN HILLS, Michigan — Chrysler on Wednesday declined to confirm when 2014 Jeep Cherokee production will start, after the Detroit Free Press said the launch has been delayed by about a month.

"The plant is currently building pilots and will be ready for launch when the management team gives them the green light," wrote Jodi Tinson, a Chrysler spokeswoman, in response to an e-mailed query from Edmunds. "As we have said all along, vehicles will be in dealer showrooms in the third quarter."

Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne reportedly told analysts in February that the Cherokee would be launched by May 24. The newspaper said that Marchionne amended his remarks to analysts last month, saying the Cherokee would launch the week of June 24. There was no explanation given for the delay.

The Cherokee, which replaces the Jeep Liberty, will be built at Chrysler's Toledo North assembly plant. The Cherokee is the first Jeep vehicle to utilize Chrysler Group's Compact U.S. Wide (CUS-wide) platform, an underbody adapted from Fiat. It is also the first Chrysler to get a nine-speed transmission developed with ZF Group.

Marchionne reportedly described the debut of the Cherokee as a "complicated industrial launch."

"Because the all-new Jeep Cherokee differs significantly from its predecessor, the plant had to make a number of changes in the build process to accommodate the new vehicle architecture," according to a statement posted on the Chrysler corporate Web site.

Chrysler invested $500 million in the Toledo plant to build the Cherokee.

The launch of the Jeep Cherokee — a critical one for Chrysler — is being watched closely. The Cherokee launch is on a par with GM's launch of the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado in terms of importance for the long-term health of the Detroit automaker.

Edmunds says: Chrysler is under pressure to nail the quality with the launch of the 2014 Jeep Cherokee, which may provide some explanation for any delay.

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