Because of the strong US demand for the new Jeep Grand Cherokee, its debut in Europe will be delayed. According to industry sources, the gasoline versions of the redesigned SUV will arrive in the fourth quarter of 2010.
Meanwhile, diesel variants, which are expected to be top sellers, will debut in the second quarter of 2011 at the earliest.
Production of the right-hand-drive Grand Cherokee models for export to Europe started at Jeep's plant in Detroit last July 12.
And on July 19, Chrysler hired 1,080 workers to operate a second shift. But due to the high number of orders in North America for the Cherokee, shipments of these models will probably be delayed. Initially, Jeep had planned to launch the redesigned Grand Cherokee in Europe in the third quarter.
The Detroit plant was slated to start assembling a diesel version for Europe in the first quarter of 2011. A source said that to cope with demand, it's likely that Chrysler Group will add a third production shift.
This plant, which has 2,837 workers, is the only facility producing Grand Cherokees. This source added that orders continue being much higher than initial expectations. Chrysler has yet to comment on this report.