Chrysler Group expects to be building over 400 new Jeep Cherokees daily at its Toledo Assembly Complex within three weeks, site officials disclosed, adding that the carmaker intends the site to be operating with a full second production shift by the end of August. Complex manager Zack Leroux said during a tour of the newly renovated plant that will build the 2014 Jeep Cherokee that the site "on the launch curve" as it ramps up to its ultimate goal of producing 60 Cherokees per hour.
Workers are currently building vehicles on one shift as new ones train for the planned second shift. The site started producing the 2014 Cherokee on June 24, 2013. The 2014 Jeep Cherokee mid-sized SUV is underpinned by a Fiat-derived platform that also underpins the Dodge Dart. It replaces the Jeep Liberty in Chrysler’s lineup, with production ended in August 2012.
It is expected to be rolled out to dealerships by the end of the third quarter. Once full production of the Cherokee is underway at the plant, Chrysler will add 1,100 workers. The carmakers had the plant undergo a$500 million renovation, half which covered additional automation and robotics in assembly areas.
The site now boasts of 959 robots performing body and welding functions, and another 70 more performing painting functions. The site is also using robots to align and attach the doors to the Cherokee, needing only 4 people to perform the job, whereas 18 were needed in 2012.