Jeep Says Capacity, New Cherokee, Keys To Sales Growth

Derek Kreindler
by Derek Kreindler
jeep says capacity new cherokee keys to sales growth

Jeep is counting on the new Cherokee to help continue its streak of year-over-year sales growth, but the brand is facing production related challenges that could torpedo their quest for three consecutive years of sales growth.

Despite adding jobs at their Toledo plant (including 200 new positions for Wrangler production and a third shift to build the Grand Cherokee), Jeep is facing capacity constraints.

Jeep’s Mike Manley told Automotive News that expansion was inevitable if the current sales pace kept up

“At some stage you get to a point where you have to make significant investment to [add] capacity,” Manley said, “and when we get to that point, we’ll be able to make that announcement.”

Meanwhile, the upcoming 2014 Cherokee is expected to play a big role in Jeep’s growth this year (Chrysler is targeting 800,000 units globally, up from 700,000 last year), but AN is reporting that the May 23 production start date will be delayed by two weeks. That, plus refreshes to the Compass, Patriot and Grand Cherokee (which feature, among other things, new transmissions) and the cessation of Liberty production, have led to a sales decline over the past five months.

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8 of 16 comments
  • Philadlj Philadlj on Mar 21, 2013

    Perhaps it goes against Jeep's audacious, trailblazing philosophy, but it doesn't seem entirely prudent to lean so heavily on a brand-new, untested, and extremely polarizing-looking model. I'm not saying the Cherokee won't find buyers (riddled with recalls, the swoopy new Escape is cleaning up), but never in the numbers the old Liberty used to sell in (130K or more per year from '02 to '06). With only a few cosmetic tweaks, the Cherokee could be must less scary and strange looking, without appearing too safe or dull.

    • Luke42 Luke42 on Mar 22, 2013

      I do find the six-eyed look a bit unsettling. I owned an Escape for a while, and will be happy to use that kind of vehicle again, whenever it happens to be the right tool for the job at hand. This Cherokee would probably fit the bill for me, though, were that to happen.

  • Gentle Ted Gentle Ted on Mar 21, 2013

    As FIAT takes over more Chrysler Products from design to production, People in the USA will have to get used to it, is this possible?

  • Mikeg216 Mikeg216 on Mar 21, 2013

    All north American jeeps will be built in Toledo Ohio, per Sergio during a speech there last year, look for a massive massive expansion to be announced soon.

  • OldandSlow OldandSlow on Mar 21, 2013

    Question - Is the Cherokee to built at the Belvidere plant, along with the Dart? Judging from the low number of Dodge Darts I see on the road, I can't imagine that the Belvidere is any where close to being at full capacity.