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Jeep's bold-faced new direction spearheaded by the 2014 Cherokee is facing some teething issues. According to a report by the Detroit Free Press, production start-up of the controversial new utility vehicle at its Toledo North facility is running about a month behind schedule "due to a wide range of issues." That's according to Mark Chernoby, senior vice president of engineering at Chrysler.
Chernoby maintains that the issues being encountered aren't unusual for the launch of a new vehicle - particularly one with a new powertrain - and he downplayed the delay, telling Jeep dealers that they "will have ample inventory of the midsize SUV by fall." Among the kinks being worked out? Calibrating the Cherokee's cutting-edge ZF nine-speed automatic transmission and refining assembly line tasks to make the process more efficient.
Chrysler expects to start building retail-ready versions of the Cherokee around mid-June, with official sales slated to start in September.Permalink | Email this | Comments
According to a report on the Chrysler Communications Facebook page and one fairly grainy image of the production line, at around 11:00AM Eastern this morning, the one-millionth Jeep Wrangler JK will roll out of the company's Toledo assembly plant.
The third-generation or "JK" Jeep Wrangler has been around since the 2007 model year, and has obviously been more popular than ever. With a greater than ever number of trim levels, two-door and four-door Unlimited models and hardy off-roading Rubicon packages, the JK offers more to choose from than ever for those looking for something in a traditional Jeep. In fact, with the modern 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 powering it, the 2012 model year saw more than 140k Wrangers sold here in the US; the best-ever figure for the model.
With a model refresh due out for the Wrangler in 2015 (along with the likely addition of a diesel engine option), we expect that sales will continue to roll right along, too.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Episode #333 of the Autoblog Podcast is here, and this week, Dan Roth, Zach Bowman and Steven Ewing talk about the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado, the Lamborghini Egoista concept and the apparent production greenlight for the Lamborghini Urus, the forthcoming Acura NSX, an interview with Jeep CEO Mike Manley and an update on Zach's Project Ugly Horse. We also address lots of your questions and comments, and for those of you who hung with us live on our UStream channel, thanks for taking the time. You can follow along after the jump with our Q&A. Thanks for listening!
Autoblog Podcast #333:
- New Acura NSX to be built in Ohio
- Lamborghini Egoista concept and Urus production confirmation
- 2014 Chevrolet Silverado
- An interview with Jeep CEO Mike Manley
- A very special Project Ugly Horse update
Get the podcast:
[UStream] Listen live on Mondays at 10PM Eastern at UStream
[iTunes] Subscribe to the Autoblog Podcast in iTunes
[RSS] Add the Autoblog Podcast feed to your RSS aggregator
[MP3] Download the MP3 directly
Email: Podcast at Autoblog dot com
Review the show in iTunes Permalink | Email this | Comments
Category: 2013 dodge dart, 2013 lexus ls, autoblog podcast, autoblog podcast 333, featured, lamborghini, lamborghini egoista, lamborghini urus, mike manley, News, podcast, podcast 333 | Tags: 2012 chrysler, 2012 dodge, 2012 jeep, 2012 ram 1500, Acura, broward county, Chevrolet, chrysler, dodge, florida, fort lauderdale, jeep, Lamborghini, Lexus, miami, Podcasts, ram trucks, Rumormill
Hennessey Performance Engineering has created an HPE650 package for the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT fitted with the 6.4-liter Hemi engine. When it leaves the showroom floor it has 470 horsepower and gets from 0-60 miles per hour in 4.8 seconds. When it leaves Hennessey's garage floor after the upgrade it has 650 horsepower - 530 hp at the wheels, according to Hennessey - and gets to 60 mph in 3.9 seconds on its way to running the quarter-mile in 12.6 seconds.
There's more than just a Roots-type supercharger bolt-on, with ported cylinder heads and high-flow headers among the many changes made to the engine. You can watch this pre-2014 facelift silver model prove its spec sheet on the drag strip in the video below.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Category: 2013 jeep grand cherokee srt8, hennessey, hennessey grand cherokee srt8, hpe650, Jeep Grand Cherokee, jeep grand cherokee srt, jeep grand cherokee srt8, john hennessey, News, srt, video | Tags: 2012 chrysler, 2012 dodge, 2012 jeep, 2012 ram 1500, Aftermarket, broward county, chrysler, dodge, florida, fort lauderdale, jeep, miami, Performance, ram trucks, SUV, Videos
Chrysler has issued a recall covering a combined 469,000 units of the 2005-2010 Jeep Grand Cherokee and the 2006-2010 Jeep Commander (inset). Of that number, 295,000 are in the US, roughly 33,000 in Canada and Mexico and the remainder in other markets. It seems an electrical fault in the transfer case can allow the affected SUVs to shift into neutral on their own, while an Associated Press report says that Chrysler had "found cracks in a circuit board that turns the four-wheel-drive system on and off." The issue was discovered when an owner started his car remotely and it rolled away.
Chrysler is expected to begin notifying owners in June 2013, who can then take their cars to dealers. The dealer will reflash the final drive controller free of charge. There's a bulletin from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration below with more information.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Category: jeep commander, jeep commander recall, jeep commander recalls, Jeep Grand Cherokee, jeep grand cherokee recalls, jeep recall, jeep recalls, jeepcommanderrecall, jeepcommanderrecalls, jeepgrandcherokeerecalls, jeeprecall, jeeprecalls, national highway traffic safety administration, News, nhtsa, recall | Tags: 2012 chrysler, 2012 dodge, 2012 jeep, 2012 ram 1500, broward county, chrysler, dodge, florida, fort lauderdale, jeep, miami, ram trucks, Recalls, Safety, SUV
The Jeep Wagoneer was introduced 50 years ago, and it's that vehicle we have to thank for the herds of excellent crossovers and SUVs that make up our current automotive landscape. On a personal level, I have always loved the full-size Jeeps and their crisp Brooks Stevens styling, which aged well over their long tenure on the market. The SJs, as they're known among enthusiasts, were the Wagoneer and its two-door counterpart, the original Cherokee. The Wagoneers had become true luxury vehicles by the end of their run, which stretched form late 1962 as a '63 model all the way to 1991, when they were offered exclusively under the Grand Wagoneer nameplate.
The Wagoneer got the SUV on the radar of buyers looking for something capable, comfortable and rugged.
At the end of the line in 1991, The New York Times called the Grand Wagoneer "one of the last true gas guzzlers" as it eulogized the vehicle. It deserves more respect than that; the Wagoneer got the SUV on the radar of buyers looking for something capable, comfortable and rugged. People who could afford such luxuries seemed to understand its purpose. At the end of production, the average Grand Wagoneer buyer pulled in over $100,000 a year, and the Jeep often served as a second or third car. There is no denying that the Wagoneer invented the luxury SUV, years before the Range Rover was ever offered for sale.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Reuters reports that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating certain Ford Crown Victoria, Porsche 911 and Dodge Viper models for potential defects. NHTSA is currently looking into 2005-2008 Crown Victoria police car models for steering column failures that could cause the upper and lower portions of the steering shaft to separate. Such a condition would lead to a loss of control. So far there are 195,000 vehicles involved with 15 warranty claims.
Meanwhile, 10,000 Porsche 911 sports cars are under investigation for a faulty cooling hose fitting. The loose hose could cause a rapid loss of coolant that could not only damage the engine, but cause a slick road surface that could pose a danger to other traffic. The investigation is only concerned with models equipped with 2001-2007 models. There have been 10 owner complaints of failures, with one owner saying the coolant caused him to loose control and spin the vehicle off of the road.
Investigators are also looking into certain 2005-2006 Dodge Viper models for a rear suspension knuckle failure. Two owners have filed complaints after crashes, and NHTSA is now looking into 2,500 of the vehicles.
Note: these probes aren't recalls, but can lead to them if NHTSA or the automakers find sufficient evidence of danger to drivers.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Category: dodge viper, ford crown victoria, ford crown victoria police interceptor, ford police interceptor, national highway traffic safety administration, News, nhtsa, nhtsa investigation, nhtsa probe, porsche 911, viper | Tags: 2012 chrysler, 2012 dodge, 2012 jeep, 2012 ram 1500, broward county, chrysler, Convertible, Coupe, dodge, florida, Ford, fort lauderdale, Government/Legal, jeep, Luxury, miami, Performance, Porsche, ram trucks, Safety, Sedan
While monthly sales figures might be an easy way of tracking the progression of the auto industry and individual automakers, looking at market share might be more indicative of how each company is actually standing up against its competitors. For the Detroit Three automakers, they have collectively lost almost 30 percent of the market over the last 20 years, but now, for the first time since 1993, Ford, General Motors and Chrysler have each posted market share gains at the same time in the first quarter of 2013.
According to Automotive News, Ford's share increased the most by 0.7 percent, GM was up 0.5 percent and Chrysler rose marginally by 0.2 percent, giving the Detroit automakers a total market share of 45.6 percent. As for the Japan's Big Three, the article reports that Toyota is up by 0.7 percent, Nissan is down the same amount and Honda has seen "little change."Permalink | Email this | Comments
Preliminary first-quarter results from 2013 have been announced by Chrysler, and the company is reporting a net income of $166 million on revenue of $15.4 billion. Compared to this period last year, net income is down $307 million and revenue has dropped $1 billion.
Chrysler says that its quarter was negatively affected by the costs associated with launching its 2013 Ram Heavy Duty, 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee and preparation for the return of the all-new 2014 Jeep Cherokee pictured above. The launches should provide a strong second half of 2013, says the automaker. "We remain on track to achieve our business targets, even as the first-quarter results were affected by an aggressive product launch schedule," said Chrysler Group LLC Chairman and CEO Sergio Marchionne.
On a positive note, the automaker says worldwide vehicle sales are up 8 percent from one year ago, a number pushed by a 12 percent bump in U.S. retail sales. In addition, domestic market share has risen slightly, up to 11.4 percent from 11.2 percent last year. Read more in the official statement below.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Category: chrysler first quarter, chrysler sales, chrysler sales figures, first quarter income, first quarter revenue, News, sergio marchionne | Tags: 2012 chrysler, 2012 dodge, 2012 jeep, 2012 ram 1500, broward county, chrysler, dodge, Earnings/Financials, florida, fort lauderdale, jeep, miami, ram trucks