Although Chrysler built the first salable 2014 Jeep Cherokee in Toledo, Ohio, last week, the first units will have to be held to verify quality, thereby resulting in a delay in the launch of the brand's newest sports utility vehicle, according to Jeep brand head Mike Manley. He said the delay is only to make sure that the 2014 Jeep Cherokee meets quality standards.
The Cherokee was initially set to be produced starting in late May, but the assembly was delayed to enable suppliers and engineers to address last-minute issues. According to Manley, the first Cherokees would be rolled out to dealerships in the third quarter of 2013. "You get a relatively slow ramp-up to begin with as we get all the models on stream," Manley remarked at a press event.
He quipped that by the middle or end of August, Jeep would have enough 2014 Cherokees into customer showrooms, and by early to mid-September, the brand will have its full commercial launch.
He noted that problems are bound to occur when production of new vehicles starts, since it is the most "intense time" in the site and for the engineers on the program.
Manley remarked that he still aims to close 2013 with global sales slightly higher than the record of 701,626 set in 2012. He said that to achieve that aim, they have to get Cherokee in the hands of consumers. Manley expects the Cherokee to at least double the sales of the Jeep Liberty.