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New Jeep to end wait for product

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New Jeep to end wait for product

Dave Guilford

Automotive News -- April 5, 2010 - 12:01 am ET

NEW YORK -- For long-suffering Chrysler Group dealers starved for some gee-whiz new product, the wait is almost over.

The 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee, which dealers can start ordering this month, will arrive on a new platform this summer and will be the first vehicle to offer Chrysler's new Pentastar V-6 engine.

Jeep CEO Michael Manley, speaking here at the auto show, said upper trim lines will come with an adaptive suspension that allows the driver to adjust the ride height -- high for superior off-roading and low for better on-road performance.

The platform will reduce noise, vibration and harshness, he said.

Manley said Chrysler chose not to display the production Grand Cherokee at the show because it is still too far from launch.

The automaker has kept a tight lid on the redesigned Grand Cherokee, but CEO Sergio Marchionne said this week in New York that the company will begin building the vehicle May 3 at the Jefferson Avenue plant in Detroit and that it will go on sale in July.

Dealers say company officials have told them they can start ordering the vehicle this month.

Chrysler officials have not announced when or how they will unveil the new vehicle, which plays an important role in the company's recovery. The Grand Cherokee is the first redesigned vehicle to come out since Chrysler emerged from bankruptcy last June. The Grand Cherokee is the second-biggest seller in the Jeep lineup, accounting for 22 percent of the brand's volume last year.

Read more: http://www.autonews.com/article/20100405/OEM01/304059968/1432#ixzz0kErgg1cn

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