- Second shift will begin July 19 with nearly 1,100 employees
- "Grand Cherokee is a signature vehicle for Chrysler," says Chrysler Group CEO Marchionne
- Chrysler Group reaffirms commitment to Detroit as sole manufacturer within city limits
- All-new 2011 Grand Cherokee redefines SUV industry with legendary Jeep capability and premium on-road dynamics
"The production launch of the all-new 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee signals the rebirth of the Chrysler Group," said Sergio Marchionne, Chrysler Group LLC CEO. "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."
Marchionne, along with Michigan Governor Jennifer M. Granholm, U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow, U.S. Representative Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick (MI -13th District), Detroit Mayor Dave Bing, Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano, Vice President and Director of the UAW Chrysler Department General Holiefield, other members of the Michigan delegation and local officials joined employees in recognizing the importance of the plant, the workforce and the all-new Jeep Grand Cherokee in the future success of the Company.
The nearly 3-million-square-foot assembly plant, located in Detroit, has been the site of Grand Cherokee production since its introduction in 1992. In fact, Chrysler Group is the only automotive manufacturer with more than one manufacturing facility in the city of Detroit.
In front of more than 1,400 current UAW-represented JNAP employees and further demonstrating the Company's commitment to its largest assembly plant in Detroit, Marchionne also announced that Chrysler Group would add a second shift of production at JNAP, beginning July 19. A total of 1,080 employees will staff the second shift with nearly all new hires.
"We are anticipating that there will be strong customer demand for the all-new 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee, so we decided it was prudent to add a second shift of production," said Marchionne.
"Chrysler's launch of its 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee demonstrates our determination that the vehicles of the future will be built right here in Michigan," said Gov. Granholm. "I want to thank Chrysler for making a strong commitment to our state and creating jobs in Michigan."
In preparation for production of the all-new Grand Cherokee, JNAP went through a complete transformation as part of World Class Manufacturing (WCM), an extensive and thorough process to restore all Chrysler Group facilities to their original and maximum functionality. JNAP employees have planned and executed hundreds of projects aimed at improving the work environment, maximizing quality, minimizing waste and preparing for the new product. JNAP is producing the new Grand Cherokee in an all-new flexible body shop that will deliver the most precise body dimensions ever built. In total, Chrysler Group invested $686 million on the Grand Cherokee program, which included investments at the plant.
"With the hard work and dedication of the UAW represented workforce here at JNAP, the plant is fundamentally unrecognizable from what it was before," said the UAW's Holiefield. "The employees are excited about the product, the plant and our future."
The All-new 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee
Nearly two decades ago, Jeep invented the premium sport-utility vehicle segment with the introduction of the Jeep Grand Cherokee. Nearly two decades later, Jeep delivers an all-new Grand Cherokee that balances legendary Jeep capability with improved, sophisticated on-road dynamics that deliver a premium driving experience.
"With the all-new 2011 Grand Cherokee, Jeep has created the benchmark, premium SUV," said Mike Manley, President and CEO — Jeep Brand. "Unique innovations such as our new Quadra-Lift™ air suspension and Selec-Terrain™ traction control systems separate Jeep from the crowd and take the Grand Cherokee to the next level of 4x4 capability. The new generation of the iconic Jeep Grand Cherokee delivers the perfect blend of on-road refinement, superb craftsmanship, world-class design, improved fuel economy, innovative features and legendary, real-world capability."
Capability highlights include a choice of three 4x4 systems, new Jeep Quadra-Lift Air Suspension and Selec-Terrain systems, and towing capability of 7,400 lbs. On-road dynamics are improved courtesy of new independent front and rear suspension systems and a new body structure that dramatically increases torsional stiffness for reduced Noise, Vibration and Harshness (NVH) levels.
The design of the all-new Jeep Grand Cherokee boasts an all-new sculpted body and athletic profile that define a sleek exterior and aerodynamic finesse. CommandView® - a new dual-pane panoramic sun roof - extends from the windshield to the rear of the vehicle. A world-class interior design is highlighted by premium soft-touch interior materials for all models. The interior provides consumers with more than four inches of increased rear-seat knee and leg room, and 17 percent more cargo volume.
Chrysler Group's all-new 290-horsepower 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine boasts an 11 percent improvement in fuel economy for the Jeep Grand Cherokee, delivering up to 23 mpg and over 500 miles on one tank of gas. The all-new flexible-fuel engine is standard on the Grand Cherokee, and features Variable-valve Timing (VVT), double overhead camshafts and a high-pressure die-cast aluminum cylinder block in a 60-degree configuration.
More than 45 safety and security features are available in the all-new 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee, including standard Active Head Restraints, full-length side-curtain and seat-mounted side thorax air bags, Electronic Stability Control, Electronic Roll Mitigation, Hill-start Assist, and Trailer-sway Control. A Blind-spot/Rear Cross-path detection system and Adaptive Cruise Control with Forward Collision Warning are available.
Numerous advanced technology features are offered, including live mobile TV (FLO TV), SIRIUS Backseat TV and UConnect™ Web, which transforms the vehicle into a "hot spot" to deliver the Internet directly to the vehicle.
The all-new 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee will be available in 3 models: Laredo, Limited and Overland.
2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo 4x2 pricing starts at $30,995 - $495 lower than the outgoing model. Laredo 4x4 pricing starts at $32,995 - $465 lower than the outgoing model.
About Chrysler Group LLC
Chrysler Group LLC, formed in 2009 from a global strategic alliance with Fiat Group, produces Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Ram Truck, Mopar® and Global Electric Motorcars (GEM) brand vehicles and products. With the resources, technology and worldwide distribution network required to compete on a global scale, the alliance builds on Chrysler's culture of innovation — first established by Walter P. Chrysler in 1925 — and Fiat's complementary technology — from a company whose heritage dates back to 1899.
Headquartered in Auburn Hills, Mich., Chrysler Group LLC's product lineup features some of the world's most recognizable vehicles, including the Chrysler 300, Jeep Wrangler and Ram Truck. Fiat will contribute world-class technology, platforms and powertrains for small- and medium-sized cars, allowing Chrysler Group to offer an expanded product line including environmentally friendly vehicles.
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