Chrysler Resumes Jeep Cherokee Production But Misses Promised On-Sales Target image

Although Chrysler recalls its 500 laid-off employees at the Toledo plant, it will miss again the deadline for the 2014 Jeep Cherokee as it delays shipments to dealerships.

Production of the 2014 Jeep Cherokee started in spring 2012, but due to these delays the automaker might not be able to reach the profit forecast for 2013 as dealers will sell the model only part of the fourth quarter.

“We are actually reinstating the second shift at Toledo North on Monday,” said Chrysler spokeswoman Jodi Tinson. “We are continuing to refine the powertrains offered in the vehicles.”

Chrysler has reiterated several times that the Jeep Cherokee will hit the market by the end of third quarter which would be on Monday, September 30th. The Toledo plant workers are still working on recalibrating the vehicle’s nine-speed transmission.

“We are only going to introduce the vehicles when we are completely satisfied with the quality,” Tinson said.

The 2014 Cherokee is the US automaker’s most important new vehicle for 2013 and it will compete with Toyota RAV4, Chevrolet Equinox, Honda CRV and Ford Escape. During the first eight months of the year automakers have sold 936,000 crossovers and midsize SUVs in the US.

The Cherokee will replace the Jeep Liberty which has been discontinued in 2012. Chrysler plans to manufacture 280,000 Cherokee vehicles annually and sell them in more than 150 markets.