Sales Anticipation: Jeep Adds Second Shift to 2011 Grand Cherokee Plant

The 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee is touted as the company’s most luxurious vehicle ever, and the new benchmark in the premium SUV segment. In anticipation of strong sales, Chrysler has added a second shift to the Grand Cherokee’s assembly plant in Detroit, Michigan.

"We are anticipating that there will be strong customer demand for the all-new 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee, so we decided it would be prudent to add a second shift of production,” said Sergio Marchionne, CEO of Chrysler Group.

Although the 2011 Grand Cherokee goes on sale in June, the second production shift won’t be added until July 19. The second shift at the Grand Cherokee’s Jefferson North Assembly Plant will bring 1080 additional employees under the factory’s roof.

Prior to starting production of the vehicle, the plant underwent a renovation to bring it to its maximum functionality, along with implementing Fiat’s World Class Manufacturing standards. Renovations included a 285,000-square-foot expansion, along with a flexible body shop.The renovations were part of the nearly $686 million spent on the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee program.

Although the plant is revised, it’s long been the home of the Grand Cherokee. While other Jeep models were built in other facilities (including those in Toledo, Ohio), the Grand Cherokee has been manufactured at Jefferson North since its launch in 1992.

Jefferson North will also have the honor of building the first all-new Chrysler vehicle to launch since the company filed for bankruptcy in 2009.

“The production launch of the all-new 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee signals the rebirth of the Chrysler Group,” said Marchionne. “The Jeep Grand Cherokee is a signature vehicle for Chrysler. It represents the best of this company, the direction we’re moving toward producing high-quality, technologically advanced vehicles. We are confident the Grand Cherokee will receive the proper recognition for what it stands for when it hits the road in June.”

Source: Chrysler Group

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