Our beloved Jeep brand didn't fare all that well, ranking 4th from last, down 3 places from last year's results.
Better-than-expected Jeep sales will add up to shorter layoffs for employees at DaimlerChrysler AG's Toledo assembly plant.
Original plans called for the production of Toledo-built Wranglers and Cherokees to be halted for up to eight weeks scattered through the year, beginning this month.
Most of the plant's 4,800 hourly workers would have been laid off.
But now, the first down week isn't scheduled until June 28, and plans call for production to be suspended for half as long as originally expected, according to plant officials.
"We're extremely pleased that market conditions have allowed us to continue to build Jeeps when we thought we wouldn't be able to," said Edward Mercer, plant manager.
"All in all, the majority of workers are pleased because sales are doing good," said union leader Joe Depowski, who is United Auto Workers Local 12 chairman at the plant.
Mr. Mercer said the car maker has buyers for 1999 Wranglers and Cherokees to be built between now and the end of the model year June 28.
Production of year-2000 models will begin when workers return from a two-week vacation July 19.