Chrysler Lost 70,000 Jeep Sales Due to Production Bottlenecks image

Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne said that the automaker is pressuring suppliers to the Grand Cherokee and Jeep Wrangler to increase capacity after bottlenecks made the company lose sales of between 60,000 and 70,000 last year.

“I didn’t sell all the Grand Cherokees I could have sold, I didn’t sell all of the Wranglers that I could have sold because I couldn’t make them. There was a natural limitation to my ability to compete,” Marchionne said.

In 2012 Jeep reached record global sales of 701,626 vehicles, surpassing the previous record of 675,494 units sold in 1999. Although these numbers were better than expected, Marchionne said that supplier constraints made the automaker lose 70,000 additional sales. But the CEO is decided to sell more than 2.6 million vehicles this year, pushing the company’s limits.

“We’re going to try and push beyond 2.6 million in 2013. We’ve got a lot of work to do here, but the machine needs to be pushed,” Marchionne said. “No vacations. No breaks.”

On another topic, Marchionne said that he still doesn’t understand why Chrysler was attacked and used as a discussion point during the election, when Republican Mitt Romney accused the automaker of trying to transfer Jeep production to China and cut jobs in the US. He added that these statements caused ‘shock and disbelief’ at Chrysler.

“You read the newspaper and you read the press and you keep on seeing people who are making statements about your company that are untrue,” said Marchionne. “I thought it was unfair, but who am I to say? I’m just another bastard. I just make cars.”