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Jeep may add third shift for Grand Cherokee

By Mark Kleis

Chrysler is currently suffering from a problem that all automakers can only hope to have at this time – more demand than anticipated.

The all-new Jeep Grand Cherokee has been a success since its recent introduction in May, with a second shift having just been added on July 19th. The addition brought on the addition of 1,080 workers, and according to Automotive News, that brings the current total to 2,837 workers.

Now, despite just adding a second shift, a source has informed AN that a third may be in order. “Orders continue being much higher than initial expectations, and we are considering adding a third shift soon,” a source at the plant said.

When officially asked about a third shift, Chrysler spokeswoman, Jodi Tinson, told AN that she had no comment.

As of the start of July, Jeep dealers nationwide had a 62-day supply of the new and outgoing Grand Cherokee – roughly 7,200 units – which was up from the 57-day supply at the same time in June, according to Automotive News’ data center.

Jeep is currently scheduled to produce 136,000 Jeep Grand Cherokees this year, more than double the 60,640 Grand Cherokees produced last year.

Grand Cherokee heads for Europe

What many people may not know is that Jeep’s all-new Grand Cherokee is currently being produced in Detroit, and shipped to Europe for sale. Jeep began producing the Grand Cherokee in right-hand drive form to export to Europe on July 12, but now the increased demand in the U.S. may divert some production back to American buyers.

Chrysler also has plans to begin producing a diesel-powered Grand Cherokee in the first quarter of 2011, destined for European consumption.



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