Production of 2014 Jeep Cherokee Scaled Back Temporarily, Company Says


  • Chrysler HQ Picture

    Chrysler HQ Picture

    Chrysler has temporarily scaled back production of the 2014 Jeep Cherokee. | September 24, 2013

Just the Facts:
  • Chrysler told Edmunds on Monday it has temporarily scaled back production of the 2014 Jeep Cherokee, but promises that the vehicle will be in dealers' hands by the end of the month.
  • "We have been producing vehicles since the end of June and have now built the critical number of vehicles we need to stock dealerships once containment is released," wrote Jodi Tinson, a Chrysler spokeswoman.
  • The temporary layoff of about 500 workers is expected to last about two weeks.

AUBURN HILLS, Michigan — Chrysler told Edmunds on Monday it has temporarily scaled back production of the 2014 Jeep Cherokee, but promises that the vehicle will be in dealers' hands by the end of the month. The temporary layoff of about 500 workers is expected to last about two weeks.

"We have been producing vehicles since the end of June and have now built the critical number of vehicles we need to stock dealerships once containment is released," wrote Jodi Tinson, a Chrysler spokeswoman. "We will temporarily idle the second shift (at Toledo North) so as not to put additional strain on our logistics partners to get these vehicles into the hands of customers as quickly and efficiently as possible upon release."

Chrysler has said it will begin selling Cherokees during the third quarter of this year.

When Tinson was asked for a firm date for the arrival of the Cherokee in dealerships, she wrote: "We've said end of month." But Tinson did not offer a specific date.

Bruce Baumhower, the president of United Auto Workers Local 12, told the Toledo Blade that the Cherokee is ready for buyers, but that Chrysler is being extra cautious on a complex launch.

The Cherokee, which replaces the Jeep Liberty, is being 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.

The launch of the Cherokee is seen as one of the most important product debuts for Chrysler this year.

"The Jeep Grand Cherokee has done a lot to reverse the fortunes of the Chrysler Group," said Jessica Caldwell, an Edmunds senior analyst. "Looking to play off of its success, it's smart business to bring a solid stable mate to capture customers looking for a smaller or less expensive SUV. This segment is a high growth one and it's a bonus that potential customers are already familiar with the Cherokee name."

Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne has described the debut of the Cherokee as a "complicated industrial launch."

Edmunds says: Chrysler wants a flawless release of the 2014 Jeep Cherokee, so the ups and downs in the production process are understandable. But consumers are getting antsy.

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