Chrysler Group LLC has announced that production for the new 2014 Jeep Cherokee will be delayed by a month, but that sufficient inventory will be ready by the fall. Chrysler is trying to iron out issues that arise when launching a new vehicle.
The Cherokee replaces the Jeep Liberty, making it the brand’s most important new model this year. “We did start with an initial scheduled plan of the third week in May, and now we are in to mid-June. That is just due to a wide range of issues, said Mark Chernoby, Chrysler’s’ senior vice president of engineering, told Detroit Free Press.
This timing issue could potentially impact the brand’s bottom line, as Chrysler’s first-quarter profit declined 65 percent when it was no longer selling the Liberty. Since the underbody was adapted from Fiat, manufacturing the Cherokee is more complex than most new models for Jeep. Luckily, no unusual issues surfaced in relation to the adapted underbody.
Chrysler is adjusting tooling and manual tasks at the Toledo assembly plant to smooth the process and make the work easier for employees. The new body is softer and more aerodynamic than the previous Cherokee, giving it a design more similar to the Ford Escape or Honda CR-V. The new 2014 Jeep Cherokee should be on sale this September, if no other delays arise.
Source: Detroit Free Press