Chrysler Group has confirmed that it will launch a diesel version of the Jeep Grand Cherokee in 2013, and will also add 1100 jobs at the Jefferson North Assembly Plant in Detroit, Michigan, where the Grand Cherokee is built.
A diesel-powered Jeep Grand Cherokee, which is set to arrive for 2013, will supplement the SUV's current 3.6-liter V-6, 5.7-liter V-8, and 6.4-liter V-8 engine offerings. Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne had previously revealed that a Jeep diesel would debut by 2013 in an interview in October. The engine is expected to be the same 3.0-liter turbo-diesel V-6 offered in Europe, which produces 237 hp and 406 lb-ft of torque. It should be significantly more fuel efficient than the Grand Cherokee's gasoline engines; in Europe, the diesel Jeep is rated at the equivalent of 28 combined mpg.
The company also will add 1100 jobs at the Jefferson North plant, which currently employs about 2890 people and builds the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango. Adding more workers and a third shift will increase capacity for building these vehicles -- including the aforementioned diesel Jeep.
"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 in a prepared statement.
Chrysler also reiterated that the 2013 SRT Viper supercar will be built at the company's Conner Avenue factory in Detroit, starting in late 2012. The old Dodge Viper was produced at Conner Avenue from 1995 until the car ceased production in July 2010.