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Cherokee delay confirmed

by David Zatz on

Last week, Allpar reported that Jeep had pushed back the production date of the 2014 Jeep Cherokee from mid-May [corrected] to mid-to-late-June 2013. Trusted insiders have now confirmed the report, credited to Allpar forum member  “longtimeJeep.”

The delay will probably allow Land Rover to claim the world’s first use of a nine-speed automatic transmission in a light-duty vehicle. Both vehicles use the ZF transmission; the Jeep version uses a power take-off unit to provide a true low-gear four wheel drive system, at least on the Trail Rated model (which we believe will be called Trailhawk, in line with the most off-road-ready Jeep Grand Cherokee.)

The change is not surprising given the extensive renovations at Toledo North, the new nine-speed automatic, the new 3.2 liter V6 engine, and even the new four wheel drive system. The delay might also have been caused by suppliers, who have, in recent years, often found it hard to keep up with the automotive industry’s boom times, coming so soon after a wave of bankruptcies and downsizings. Chrysler’s switch, since Fiat took over, from preferring Chinese and Mexican suppliers have accentuated the situation.

The Cherokee will be unveiled in New York later this month, shortly after Land Rover shows off its new Sport, which is their most popular vehicle in the United States. Both brands claim the New York metropolitan area as their most popular region in North America.

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