Could a wider selection of diesel vehicles actually be making their way across the pond to U.S. shores? Count Chrysler Group as one automaker looking to add that selection, as it announced yesterday that it will be adding a diesel option to the 2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee. Along with the diesel Grand Cherokee comes 1100 more jobs at Chrysler’s Jefferson North facility, a bright spot in an economy that continues to be sluggish in Michigan.
The diesel mill will supplement the Grand Cherokee’s current 3.6-liter V-6, 5.7-liter V-8, and 6.4-liter V-8 engine choices. The addition of a diesel Grand Cherokee comes as no surprise as Chrysler boss Sergio Marchionne revealed in an interview with Automotive News back in October that one was in the pipeline. The European version of the diesel Grand Cherokee is motivated by a 3.0-liter turbo-diesel V-6 which produces 237 horsepower and is expected to make the jump stateside. The diesel Grand Cherokee engine currently earns 28 combined mpg and is expected to trump its gasoline sibling.
Along with the diesel variant, Chrysler announced it will be adding 1100 jobs to its Jefferson North facility which currently employs around 2890 people. The facility is responsible for the assembly of the gasoline-powered Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango. With the addition of a third shift and more workers more vehicles are expected to roll out, including the diesel Grand Cherokee.
“We believe that investing in Detroit is not only the right thing to do, but it is a smart thing to do as we work to write the next chapter in our shared history,” Marchionne said.
The addition of the diesel Grand Cherokee is another shot in the arm for Detroit as Chrysler previously announced it would be reopening its Conner Avenue facility. The rebadged SRT Viper will be assembled at Conner Avenue after the Viper went on a two year hiatus.