Chrysler adding a third crew to build its Jeep Grand Cherokee due to high demand

Article by Christian Andrei, on October 29, 2012

Due to the high demand for the Jeep Grand Cherokee, the Chrysler Group has decided to change the scheduling at the Detroit, Michigan plant and is adding a third crew (not a third shift) by next week. As a result, it will have 1100 new employees. It has been a terrific year for the Jeep Grand Cherokee, which is produced at the Jefferson North plant in Detroit.

During the first nine months of 2012, sales of the luxury sport utility vehicle had increased by 31% to 112,075, beating the Wrangler to become the most popular Jeep vehicle. On the other hand, Dodge Durango sales have declined by 23% to 30,052 units through the end of September. The Dodge Durango is built on the same platform and is built at the same factory.

It’s believed that the long-awaited Maserati Levante SUV, which will be built on the Grand Cherokee’s platform, will soon be launched. However, these two don’t cancel the other out. Even with the sales failures of the Durango, the Jefferson North plant has been stretched thinly because of the demand for the Grand Cherokee. It also doesn’t consider the future production of the Levante, which will be produced together with the Durango and Grand Cherokee.

But this will change once it arrives at Maserati’s exclusive “finishing shop”) there. Chrysler aims to create a new schedule that adds a third crew to Jefferson North’s two shift crews. However, the plant will continue to run on a two-shift schedule.

The new schedule, which is dubbed “3-2-120,” utilizes three rotating crews that rotate through two plant shifts, over a six-day period. As a result, it gets 120 productive hours in one week, and one day off on Sunday. During the week, workers on the ground will work four 10-hour shifts, leading to the total of the usual 40-hour workweek.

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