Chrysler to add 1,100 jobs to Jefferson North Assembly Plant in Detroit

Pictured here is a 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee at the Jefferson North Assembly Plant in Detroit.

The Detroit Free Press reports that about 1,100 jobs will be added at the Chrysler Jefferson North Assembly Plant in Detroit to meet the continuing strong demand for the Jeep Grand Cherokee.

Since it’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in June 2009, Chrysler has added about 7,000 workers at plants in the U.S and Canada, the story says.

Chrysler spokeswoman Jodi Tinson said to the Detroit Free Press that having a third shift at Jefferson North is going to help normalize the work schedule and give employees back some of their personal time while allowing the company to meet the demand that they’re seeing from customers.

The story reports that through September, U.S. sales of the Grand Cherokee are up from 30.1% from a year earlier to 112,075.

 

 

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Jeep could release new Gladiator pick-up model

Last week we learned that Jeep’s Liberty model would soon be discontinued, but could a new pick-up model be taking its place?

According to windingroad.com, Mike Manely, president of Jeep, hinted that the company is excited about the idea of a Jeep pickup and that it would make a decision to build such a vehicle “pretty soon.”

A few of the rumors reported include calling it the “Gladiator,” with the possibility of it becoming the next generation of Jeep Wrangler. The model could be rolling into showroom floors as soon as this year (pretty doubtful), or even 2015.

Market prompts Chrysler to end production on Jeep Liberty

 

The Toledo Blade has reported that Chrysler will discontinue making the Jeep Liberty.

Throughout its 11-year run, the Toledo-built vehicle was often criticized by consumers, with many saying it wasn’t tough enough compared to other models.

Ed Kim, vice president of industry analysis at AutoPacific, told the Toledo Blade that the first-generation Liberty was criticized for “being really soft.” “Some members of the press sort of derided it for being a girly Jeep, being too cute, being not masculine enough, even though in terms of its rugged hardware, it was every bit as capable as the previous generation Cherokee,” Kim said.

But girly wasn’t necessarily a bad thing for sales. The story reported a 2001 survey that was commissioned by then-DiamlerChrysler AG, which found the average Liberty consumer was 41-years-old, and half were women.

Libertys sold 30,000 more than the Cherokee in its last full year in 2001, the story said. And more than 1.25 million Libertys have been sold since it was brought to the market.

The Liberty saw a major re-design in 2008, which wasn’t the best year for the automotive industry. In addition to the economy and rising gas prices, Jeep released 2 other crossovers, the Patriot in 2006 and the Compass in 2007.

PowerBlock fans, especially those of you who especially enjoy Xtreme 4×4, like your off-road vehicles rough and rugged, tough for the trails, mud bogs and sand dunes. And figures show that the Liberty just didn’t deliver.

According to the story, competitors added cushier ride quality, more technology and better fuel-efficiency, and though consumers like the look of an off-road warrior, most care about carrying groceries than climbing boulders.

(Again, remember that their buying demographic was mostly women in their 40s.)

As for the future, the story says Chrysler has been “carefully quiet” o the vehicle that will replace the Liberty. No date has been officially set for the end of the Liberty’s production, and over the next year, Chrysler is said to be “retooling” the plant to make room for a future vehicle, with chances of opening up 1,100 new jobs.

Jeep Cherokee passes German “moose test.”

Several weeks ago, a Swedish Magazine asked Chrysler to stop selling Jeep Cherokees after it reported that the vehicle came close to rolling over during a lane change.
See the video below.

Chrysler issued a statement that denied there was any problem and worked with the magazine to prove that there was no increased risk of a roll-over or a wheel-lift condition.
Afterward, German magazine Auto, Motor und Sport performed their “moose test,” confirming that there is no risk of rollover during a sudden, evasive driving maneuver.

Basically, the moose test simulates “dodging a moose” should one run out in front of you in the middle of the road.

 

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration investigates Jeeps

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is looking into the power steering system of the 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee. They received three complaints from owners that have occurred within the past two months.

Two of the complaints are from owners who said that the power steering system caused an engine bay fire. According to one driver, this 2012 Jeep Cherokee was traveling down the road at about 50 miles an hour when they noticed smoke in the rearview and side mirrors. They pulled over, got out of the vehicle and flames were coming from underneath the hood.

The second complaint of a fire in the engine compartment didn’t result in a complete loss of the Jeep, but the driver had taken note of power steering fluid his driveway.

The third complaint came from a driver who said the Jeep lost all power steering assist, which could increase the chances for an accident.

The Jeep isn’t under a recall yet, but more than 100,000 vehicles could be affected.

The Chrysler SRT Tour: American Muscle, Performance and Luxury hit the road

On July 6, four drivers will be going on a road trip to show off the best of Chrysler’s Street Racing Technology (SRT) division by traveling to 30 locations across the United States.

The vehicles going on tour are the Chrysler 300 SRT8, Dodge Challenger SRT8 392, Dodge Charger SRT8 and the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8. They’ll leave from the Carlisle Chrysler Nationals in Pennsylvania and traveling across the East coast, then headed west.

According to the Drivesrt.com, they’re “going to roll with special guests and famous names, put out some challenges, rack up some miles on SRT machines and keep you in on all the action.”

Last year, the SRT tour traveled more than 18,000 miles, went to 30 states and visited 40 local club events and cruise nights, the site says.

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Who slipped in new-car quality rankings?

According to The Wall Street Journal, Ford’s score declined in the J.D. Power and Associates Initial Quality Survey for the second year in a row.

Many customers said its MyFord Touch entertainment and information system was difficult to use. Ford’s Lincoln brand also scored below average, according to the report.

Others who scored below average were Chrysler’s Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep brands. However, Chrysler’s Ram truck scored above average.

So, who came out on top? Three of four GM brands had fewer problems than average. Cadillac reached 4th place in the annual survey of customers, and it was the only brand in Detroit to make it in the top 10. Chevrolet and GMC scored above average, though Buick was just below the average score.

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No Toy Truck!

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Is this not the coolest machine yet! Courtney invited MyPowerBlock.com member Dale VanDerMeer to the shop along with his 9 foot truck named “Tonku”. You guessed it, the maker of the smaller toy would not allow the use of the original name on this bigger version. Dale spent about 7 months fabricating the truck, starting out with the chassis from a ’92 Jeep Cherokee. He used 1×1 square tubing and 16 gauge steel on the bed with an electric scissors jack to get the dump truck bed action. He made the cab with 16 and 20 gauge steel. He kept the stock 4 litre 6 cylinder engine and driveline from the Cherokee. The tires are 39 ½ Super Swampers. The truck is 9’ tall, 72” wide and weighs in at 4,400 lbs. Plus this weekend Kevin Tetz will stop in to preview the 14th season of Trucks! starting in one week. That’s what’s on PowerBlock March 17th & 18th. For more on Tonku visit Tonku.Cruxtone.com