Cherokee ramping up, plant similar to Belvidere

According to an Automotive News article by Larry Vellequette, new body shops at Toledo Assembly (which makes Cherokee) and Belvidere Assembly (which makes Dart, Compass, and Patriot) were designed to be interchangeable, taking advantage of the common platform elements in Dodge Dart, Chrysler 200, Jeep Cherokee, and presumably the forthcoming Jeep Compass/Patriot replacement. The new body shop, over a quarter million square feet in footprint, can build four different models.

The Toledo plant will be making 400 Cherokees per day within three weeks, according to the plant manager, as quoted by Automotive News. The goal is to build one Cherokee every minute, with two shifts (the second shift starts at the end of August). Production of models for public sale began on June 24, around 11 months after its predecessor, the Jeep Liberty, ended its production run. It will take one to two months for Cherokees to reach dealerships.

While the plant will employ 1,100 people with two shifts, that is a much lower number than it would have been previously; the plant was renovated with many new robots, cutting down the need for human labor. Liberty required 18 people to put the doors onto bodies, while Cherokee only needs four.

Toledo is currently Chrysler’s most efficient assembly complex in North America, including both Wrangler and Cherokee plants. It has a bronze “World Class Manufacturing” status and is aiming for silver in August.

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Ram leading in van growth

With a nearly 47% year-over-year increase as of the end of September, Ram leads the market in commercial van sales.

Nine months into 2016, Ram has sold 39,214 ProMasters — 26,544 full-size ProMasters and 12,649 compact ProMaster Citys.

In September, monthly sales of Chevrolet and Ford vans fell, while Ram van deliveries were up more than 10%. The big ProMaster outsold every full-size van that didn’t wear a blue oval or a bow tie.

Read the full story: Ram leading in van growth  »

What’s behind the 2017 diesel delays?

2017 Ram and Jeep diesels are reportedly being delayed — but the same is true of diesel engines from nearly all automakers, as the EPA rushes to crack down on diesel emissions cheats.

So far, according to Automotive News’ groundbreaking report, only Jaguar and BMW have been given permission to sell diesels in the US. Others have to wait, pending testing clearance, thanks to Audi-Volkswagen cheats.

Read the full story: What’s behind the 2017 diesel delays?  »

Canadians get cheaper Pacificas

2017 Chrysler Pacifica minivans

Chrysler Canada is now selling a complete line of Pacifica minivans in Canada, with the base LX and Touring models added to Touring-L, Touring-L Plus, and Limited.

All 2017 Chrysler Pacificas are made in Canada at the award-winning Windsor Assembly Plant; the plant built 70% of all full-size minivans sold in Canada last year (including Caravan and Town & Country).

The LX lists for C$37,995,

Read the full story: Canadians get cheaper Pacificas  »

Ram Commercial’s relaunch

ram commercial video

Ram’s “Ram Commercial” division made its full public debut yesterday with a multidimensional ad campaign, four years after being established.

The campaign covers television, print, digital, video and social media. The first ad, “Time,” showed up on yesterday’s NFL game, showing the “surprise and delight” of small businesses with Ram vans. Print ads will appear in magazines including Forbes, Professional Builder, and Remodeling.

Read the full story: Ram Commercial’s relaunch  »

What do you think of the “Chief” blue? (updated)

Jeep is set to launch a new color, “Chief,” according to James Mooney — who backed up his assertion with an image from the Jeep brochure available on-line.

The color hasn’t hit the Build & Price system yet. It seems to hearken back to the popular bright blues of the 1970s and 1990s; we have also  seen a 1920s Chrysler in a slightly more aquamarine, but still factory,

Read the full story: What do you think of the “Chief” blue? (updated)  »

Ram leading in van growth

What’s behind the 2017 diesel delays?
2017 Chrysler Pacifica minivans
Canadians get cheaper Pacificas
ram commercial video
Ram Commercial’s relaunch

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