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.
The Ram 1500 faced down the aluminum-bodied Ford F-150 and new Chevrolet Silverado in Motor Trend’s half-ton truck shootout. The three contenders were put through a broad array of testing, including a 260-mile drive through California and Arizona. Measurements included: Testing without load: 0-60 mph and 1/4-mile acceleration, 60-0 mph braking, and maximum lateral grip (Ram was Limits-handling without load: closed-course cornering, braking, [...]
Months after unconfirmed reports made it to Allpar’s pages, the power of Automotive News, in the person of reporter Larry Vellequette, pried a key fact from Chrysler executives — that they cast and build “Ferrari” engines for Maserati. As our sister site pentastars.com reported, the engines are actually cast in Kokomo, and machined in the Trenton Engine plant, using a mixture of [...]
The 2015 Dodge Charger squad has been tested in police trim for the first time, but since it kept the five-speed automatic, it has turned in numbers similar to past years. While the eight-speed V6 Charger does 0-60 in 6.6 seconds, the five-speed was timed at 8.05 seconds by the Michigan State Police. The civilian 2015 Charger gained acceleration from the eight-speed, [...]