Chrysler CEO admits errors in 2014 Cherokee development and launch

Article by Anita Panait, on November 1, 2013

Chrysler Group chief executive Sergio Marchionne has acknowledged mistakes in the development and launch of the 2014 Jeep Cherokee, vowing not to commit them again. “We're never going to take a plant down and be out of the market for over a year," Marchionne told analysts in a conference call. He said that Chrysler was “naked in 2013" in the mid-sized SUV segment as dealers have already sold all the 2012 Jeep Libertys last year, numbering 75,483 units.

The Liberty accounted for less than 5 percent of the Chrysler’s total sales in the United States in 2012, which is pegged at 1,651,787 units. The carmaker posted $464 million in profits in the third quarter of 2013, and is expecting a strong performance in the fourth quarter of 2013 to achieve its yearly guidance.

Chrysler commenced producing the Jeep Cherokee on June 24, around a month later than initially planned, at its Toledo Assembly Complex. However, deliveries to dealers only commenced last week.

The carmaker renovated the unibody portion of the complex in August 2012 to prepare for the production of the Cherokee. At the start of production, Chrysler’s engineers worked to fix the software that controls the interacted between the Cherokee’s nine-speed transmission and its disconnecting drivetrain -- both firsts on the market.

The combination of the transmission, the drivetrain and the SUV’s two newly developed engines present a high level of complexity. Chrysler was able to get a software fix, but it has to test-drive each Cherokee coming off the assembly line to make sure the each vehicle is working as intended – causing delivery delays.

The 2014 Jeep Cherokee mid-size SUV premieres a fresh exterior produced for the future with a worldwide appeal. Jeep designers were motivated to make a car that puts Jeep into the next era with a form that is proficient without compromising Jeep DNA and design legacy. The brand-new 2014 Jeep Cherokee is a car that looks productive and competent, as well as effective and proficient - in all on-road, trail and climate conditions.

Fluid, smooth exterior lines accentuate the proficient, wind-splitting upper body of the brand-new Cherokee. The sturdy, defensive lower body exhibits the prominent capability that is standard of every Jeep.

2014 Jeep Cherokee has a robust position, an audacious wheel-to-body size and a domineering road presence. The audacious approach and departure angles add to the first-rate capability. The first key component in the front of the brand-new 2014 Jeep Cherokee is the waterfall hood with the classic peaked, seven-slotted grille which integrates a fresh, horizontal snap - an element in numerous iconic Jeep cars. The hood is obviously defined and isolated from the front fenders in a present-day touch of Jeep legacy. The one-piece hood and grille assembly guarantees an accurate build.

State-of-the-art LED lighting innovation is utilized all through the brand-new 2014 Jeep Cherokee. Forward lighting highlights an exclusive daytime running lamp (DRL) shape that assumes a commanding role in the new front-end proportion, allowing the depiction of a thin headlamp. Modern full LED tail lamps are a vital piece of the rear backlight graphic, giving the vehicle a powerful yet symmetrical look. This graphic is the link between the upper and lower rear and gives an exclusive presence particular to this brand-new Cherokee.

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