Love it or hate it, it’s coming. The first copies of the 2014 Jeep Cherokee began rolling down the assembly line at Chrysler’s Toledo assembly facility yesterday with a target of 150 units being built a day. That pace is good enough for around 15 percent less than the 2014 Jeep Cherokee’s target of 275,000 units sold annually. Production is now in full swing after a one-month delay.
“The plant is exactly where we anticipated it to be at this point in time,” said Zachary Leroux, manager of the Toledo Assembly Complex to The Detroit Free Press.
Jeep last used the Cherokee name back in 2001, but this time around, the Cherokee is expected to replace the Liberty. Jeep ended Liberty production in August of last year, and after a decade in production and over 1.7 million copies produced, the vehicle which the Liberty replaced on the assembly line will make a return. Many are already calling the 2014 Cherokee the most important vehicle Chrysler Group will release this year. It’s anticipated that 1,000 units a day will be produced once production of the 2014 Jeep Cherokee hits full steam. The Toledo production facility will rotate through two full shifts by late August and every single body will be needed as Jeep plans on selling the 2014 Cherokee in 150 countries.
The all-new 2014 Jeep Cherokee will be an obvious styling departure from the vehicle it’s replacing in Jeep’s portfolio (the Liberty). This new design that the Cherokee wears is expected to help boost fuel economy thanks to its aerodynamic shape. Jeep also promises that the 2014 Cherokee will reach as high as 31 mpg on the highway. That’s good enough for a 45 percent increase of the Liberty model that the Cherokee is replacing. The return of the Cherokee to Jeep’s lineup gives the off-road brand something to compete with the Toyota RAV4, Honda CR-V, and Ford Escape, as well.
“I think the vehicle is absolutely gorgeous…it is as fully capable as any Jeep, it has off-road capability and has all of our latest technology,” Leroux said to The Detroit Free Press. “It’s just as competitive as any vehicle in the market.”
Chrysler Group dumped $500 million into the Toledo assembly facility to rejuvenate the 12-year-old building. This investment includes the installation of new machinery and other various assembly equipment. A new 225,000 square-foot body shop and a 25,000 square-foot quality control center have also been added on. The all-new 2014 Jeep Cherokee will be built on the same platform that holds up the Dodge Dart and Alfa Romeo Giulietta.
Source: The Detroit Free Press