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Chrysler limits colors for Durango and Grand Cherokee

by Bill Cawthon on

Jeep-Grand-Cherokee-2015-White-Web
Chrysler is echoing Henry Ford’s famous quote: “Any customer can have a car painted any color that he wants so long as it is black.”

The only difference is that Chrysler is adding white, gray and silver to the choices.

Automotive News reporter Larry Vellequette writes that orders for new Dodge Durangos and Jeep Grand Cherokees will be temporarily limited to those four colors as the paint shop at the Jefferson North Assembly Plant is upgraded to allow tricolor finishes on the popular SUVs.

PPG-2014-NA-Colors-Web

Even though the limitation will be in place until at least February 2015, it most likely won’t be too onerous. According to automotive paintmaker PPG,  the most popular color in North America in 2014 has been white, followed by black, gray and silver – 72% of all 2014 vehicles were painted in one of those colors. Silver, once the most popular color, has fallen from favor in recent years.

Vellequette notes that just 19% of the Jeep Grand Cherokees and 8% of the Durangos on dealer lots are painted in a color other than the top four.

Of more concern to dealers is the fact the plant will shut down for three weeks from December 22 to January 12. This is the first time in several years the assembly line has been halted for such an extended period. In October, the plant produced 38,241 vehicles, up 20% from a year ago. October NAFTA region sales of the Durango and Grand Cherokee totaled 22,017 and the Grand Cherokee was the second-best-selling Chrysler Group vehicle.

Bill Cawthon grew up in the auto industry in the 1950s. His Dad worked for Chrysler and Bill spent a number of Saturdays down on the plant floor at Dodge Main in Hamtramck. Bill is also the U.S. market correspondent for just-auto.com, a British auto industry publication, and a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association, which has named the Jeep Grand Cherokee the “SUV of Texas” several times and named the Ram 1500 as the “Truck of Texas” two years running.

Bill has owned five Plymouths (including the only 1962 “Texan”), one Dodge and one Chrysler and is still trying to figure out how to justify a Wrangler. He also has owned at least one of every 1:87 scale model of a Chrysler product. You can reach him directly at (206) 888-7324 or by using the form.


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