Chrysler Dealers Ask – Where’s the ‘Beef’?

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Detroit Free Press

With each pass­ing day, Chrysler deal­ers are grow­ing more ner­vous about the lack of any 2014 Jeep Chero­kees to sell, already at least two months late in delivery.

Find out more about the issue that has held up this pop­u­lar model.

With each pass­ing day, Chrysler deal­ers are grow­ing more ner­vous about the lack of any 2014 Jeep Chero­kees to sell.

Com­pany offi­cials have told deal­ers the long-delayed Chero­kee will arrive in show­rooms by the end of this month after issues with its nine-speed trans­mis­sion are fixed. But that’s at least two months late. This is a strate­gi­cally cru­cial vehi­cle that Jeep expects will become its best-selling product.

“Right now, I know I could sell Chero­kees fast and furi­ous,” said David Kelle­her, a mem­ber of Chrysler’s national dealer coun­cil and a dealer in Philadel­phia. “We’ve writ­ten some orders on some pend­ing cars that we have com­ing and these peo­ple want their cars.”

With U.S. new car and truck sales on track for their best year since 2007, Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge-Ram deal­ers are wor­ried they could lose sales in the hot com­pact crossover/SUV seg­ment where Honda’s CR-V and Ford’s Escape are dominating.

“We are going to have a big wave of these Chero­kees com­ing,” said Chuck Eddy, a dealer near Youngstown, Ohio, and vice chair­man of Chrysler’s national dealer coun­cil. “We are excited about ramp­ing that up and get­ting that hole plugged.”

Chrysler pro­duced 9,430 Chero­kees as of Aug. 31 but hasn’t shipped any to dealers.Because the plant can make as many as 800 Chero­kees per day, that num­ber could have more than dou­bled by now.

Chrysler has said it is recal­i­brat­ing the vehicle’s nine-speed trans­mis­sion jointly devel­oped by Chrysler and ZF Group and pro­duced by Chrysler in Kokomo, Ind.

Com­pany offi­cials have assured deal­ers and the media that the prob­lem can be resolved by a “reflash” of the soft­ware con­trol­ling the gear-shifting commands.

 

 

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