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.