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.
Dodge and SRT are rejoining the Trans Am Series, with Miller Racing fielding two new Dodge Challengers at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on August 15 and 16. Driving will be four-time series champion Tommy Kendall, making his first Trans Am start since 2004 in the TA2 series class. The cars appear to be driven by 5.7 liter Hemi engines. [...]
Though the Ram 1500 just had major upgrades, another refresh is due in 2017, to deal with the new F-150s and a possible Chevrolet Silverado update. So far not much is known about these trucks, except that they will likely include the Pentastar engine upgrade, might include the rumored 5.7 Hemi V8 upgrade, and are likely to have undergone weight reduction therapy [...]
With the supercharged 6.2 Hemi delivering 707 horsepower to the Dodge Charger and Challenger, the Viper boys are reportedly looking for ways to get back on top. While the Viper may be superior on a tight racing course, the straight-line performance of Charger and Challenger, in five-seaters with all the amenities, large trunks, and automatic or manual transmissions, is a challenge for Team [...]
Artist suzq044 has provided an alternative view of what the 2017 Ram may look like. This refresh will counter new F-150s. The trucks will almost certainly include the V6 engine upgrade, might include the rumored 5.7 Hemi V8 upgrade, and are likely to have more high-strength steel and aluminum to cut weight. The 2017 Ram is also likely to have aerodynamic improvements to increase highway [...]
It has been years since Allpar first reported on the future launch of a new Jeep Wagoneer, and the dropping of the Dodge Caravan. With Wagoneer on the books, Chrysler planners may have had mixed feelings about the sudden success of the Dodge Durango. They wanted to drop the Durango for a more-profitable Wagoneer (essentially a Durango with the Grand Cherokee suspension design [...]