The 2014 Jeep Cherokee could end up being the best-selling Jeep model, but dealers have yet to receive any. The automaker has told dealers that they can expect 2014 Jeep Cherokee deliveries by the end of this month, but that’s already a couple of months behind schedule. The highly anticipated new crossover has been delayed for issues surrounding its ZF-sourced nine-speed automatic transmission, which parent company Chrysler says it is recalibrating.
According to a recent Detroit Free Press report, this has dealers on edge. “Right now, I could sell Cherokees fast and furious,” said David Kelleher, a member Chrysler’s national dealer council, and a Philadelphia area dealer. “We’ve written some orders on some pending cars that we have coming and these people want their cars,” Kelleher told the publication. Dealers are especially anxious to lose those sales as the 2014 Jeep Cherokee faces no shortage of competition from models like the Honda CR-V and Ford Escape.
Jeep has already produced 9,430 2014 Cherokees, but hasn’t shipped any as it continues to resolve the shift timing on the new transmission. In a statement, Chrysler said: “this is the world’s first application of a highly technical nine-speed transmission; on top of that, it is being mated to two new engines and three complex 4-by-4 systems.”
Recently, we had the opportunity to drive several preproduction examples of the ’14 Cherokee and came away smitten with the new sport ute. We did, however, note some issues with a balky transmission.
Chrysler had a similar situation with the 2013 Dodge Dart, when most of the models produced early on had manual transmissions, while buy far more automatic transmission models.
Source: Detroit Free Press