The 2014 Jeep Cherokee is scheduled to begin arriving at dealerships this fall, and it's getting down to the wire. After already experiencing a one-month delay, the Cherokee is facing yet another one, as the automaker was forced to postpone a media launch event to further tweak the Cherokee's powertrain.
This week's media launch in Seattle was pushed back so that engineers could continue tweaking the operational software of the Cherokee's powertrain. To make sure the new CUV is ready to go and in perfect condition by the time it goes on sale, the automaker is adding 1100 workers for a second shift on the Cherokee line at the Toledo plant. Scheduled to start August 19, the additional workers will help make last-minute upgrades to the new 2014 Cherokee before they're released to dealers. Production on the CUV was delayed one month because of issues with the factory and the vehicle itself, with the Cherokee's new ZF nine-speed automatic transmission needing additional calibration, and the factory's tooling not yet complete.
"In Toledo, we have the perfect storm: new product, new plant, new people, new platform, " Mauro Pino, head of World Class Manufacturing for Chrysler, told Automotive News. To make sure no further delays happen, the company is focusing on an intensive training program that ranges from five to eight weeks, depending on the worker. To accommodate this new program, Chrysler is adding 15,000 square-feet onto its existing manufacturing academy in Warren, Mich., and expanding another training facility in Mexico.
The Dodge Dart-based 2014 Jeep Cherokee is powered by a 184-hp 2.4-liter I-4, or an optional 271-hp 3.2-liter Pentastar V-6, both paired with a ZF nine-speed automatic, and front- or all-wheel drive. Jeep aims to produce 1000 units a day once the assembly line is operating at full speed.
Source: Automotive News (Subscription required)