Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
September 23, 2013
In a surprising move today, Chrysler has halted Cherokee production at its Toledo, Ohio plant.
“We have been producing vehicles since the end of June and have now built the critical number of vehicles we need to stock dealerships once containment is released. We will temporarily idle the second shift so as not to put additional strain on our logistics partners to get these vehicles into the hands of customers as quickly and efficiently as possible upon release,” said Chrysler spokeswoman Jodi Tinson in a statement this afternoon.
Chrysler has idled 500 workers from the second shift and is expected to last two weeks. Other workers are being assigned to perform lengthy test drives of Cherokees.
Bruce Baumhower, president of United Auto Workers Local 12 told reporters that Cherokee is ready to go, but Chrysler is being very cautious.
"There's not a problem with the vehicle. The unusual thing on this launch, you've got a brand-new engine. It's never been used before. You've got a brand-new nine-speed transmission. You've got a brand-new torque converter. We're putting all those three things together and we want to make sure we get it perfect before they get released to the dealers."
*UPDATE* The Detroit News has learned from workers at the plant that the reason for the production stoppage is due to over 1,000 Cherokees still having problems with the nine-speed automatic transmission.