We're back from our annual summer break - here's what's been going on in the world of Jeeps:
Less 2000 Jeep Grand Cherokees
Daimler Chrysler has decided to cut the number of 2000 Grand Cherokees produced to about 290,000 (versus a capacity of 354,000) - they cite the reason of the decline due to increased competition and and downturn in SUV sales. Yahoo News has the whole story.
June Sales Slip
From Yahoo News:
"DaimlerChrysler could not match its incentive-juiced record June of last year as U.S. sales slipped 5.3 percent, but record numbers from leading Japanese automakers Thursday launched the industry toward another strong month."
"German-U.S. automaker DaimlerChrysler said total June sales of its Chrysler, Plymouth, Jeep and Dodge brands slipped to 239,079 units from 252,485 units last June. Cars slumped 13.9 percent to 66,963 units, while trucks were down 1.5 percent to 172,116."
New Jeep Plant Ahead of Schedule
According to an article in The Toledo Blade, construction on the new Jeep assembly plant is slightly ahead of schedule. The plant will begin producing the all new 2001 Cherokee sometime in mid-2000.
"Floors are being poured in the body shop, electric and other utility installation will be next, and the structure is on track to finish before its planned Nov. 1 date, he said. The trim shop is ready to have its floors poured and is on schedule for its November finish, he added."
"The new factory will start testing equipment in March and April and will begin building tryout vehicles in May to work out any problems before full production starts"
Productivity Gains at Jeep Plants
In another article from The Toledo Blade, it appears that the current Jeep assembly plants are making productivity gains...
"DaimlerChrysler AG's Toledo Jeep Assembly Plant continued to make productivity gains at its aging Cherokee and Wrangler factories last year - and even performed better than its redesign-plagued sister plant in Detroit, according to an industry report released yesterday."
"A Toledo-made Jeep took about 291/2 hours to make last year, compared with nearly 31 hours the year before. The Detroit-made Jeep Grand Cherokee, which had a troubled six-month rollout, took a little more than 32 hours to make, according to Harbour & Associates. The Troy, Mich., industry firm outlined its respected annual productivity study at the Detroit Athletic Club."