Acknowledging that a number of mistakes were made in the development and launch of the 2014 Jeep Cherokee, Chrysler Group CEO Sergio Marchionne vowed to learn from those mistakes and never repeat them.
“What we’ve learned is that we’ll never repeat it. We’re never going to take a plant down and be out of the market for over a year,” Marchionne told analysts in a conference call on Wednesday. In August of 2012, Chrysler shut down the body shop section of their Toledo assembly facility and spent a half billion dollars to prepare for Cherokee production. “We were just naked in 2013,” in the mid-sized SUV segment after production of the Jeep Liberty ended in 2012. The Liberty had been the Jeep brand’s third best seller at 75,483 units, about 5% of Chrysler’s total sales volume in 2012. (Read More…)
Automotive News is reporting from its sources that Chrysler will start shipping 2014 Jeep Cherokees to dealers within 10 days. Chrysler declined to comment but dealers report that status updates on their allotments indicate that they are on their way. About 23,000 of the all-new Cherokees have accumulated as Chrysler fine tuned and reinstalled drivetrain control software for smoother interaction between the engine, Chrysler’s new nine-speed automatic transmission licensed from ZF and a novel rear driveshaft that disconnects for better mileage.
This is a post that I’d rather not write. As a Detroiter, in an ideal world I’d rather that the domestic auto manufactures made tons of money selling great cars. I’m willing to take an unvarnished look at them, after all, those of us who live here are more likely to have some kind of personal interaction with the auto industry than most folks who live elsewhere, but I don’t feel the need to gratuitously slam GM, Ford and Chrysler the way some people do. I just want to be fair. In addition, it grates on me when people accuse TTAC of having a bias against those three Detroit based car companies. Sure, we’re not cheerleaders, but the writers and editors at TTAC don’t have conference calls or Skype sessions where we choose which of the domestic automakers we’ll slam that day. So it’s with some reluctance that I have to note what I considered to be a couple of quality control issues with the all new Lincoln MKZ, now finally arriving in dealerships after a botched launch.