• Jan 6, 2012
Last April, we received word straight from CEO Sergio Marchionne's mouth that Fiat's 3.0L V6 turbo-diesel engine would find its way to America under the hood of a Jeep Grand Cherokee by the end of 2013. That a diesel-powered Grand Cherokee would return to Jeep's lineup was great news for fans of the last version, but workers in the city of Detroit should be even more excited, as Chrysler has just announced it will add a third shift and hire 1,100 new workers at its Jefferson North Assembly Plant to help build it. Jefferson North currently employs 2,890 people and is responsible for production of the Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango.

Throw another 150 new workers on the pile too for Chrysler's Connor Avenue Assembly Plant, also located within the confines of Detroit proper. Last month Chrysler announced that it would reopen the original home of Viper assembly to build the new snake, and its needs 150 workers to do it. Today's announcement just reaffirms those plans and brings the total number of Chrysler's new Detroit hires this year to 1,250.
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Chrysler Group LLC Deepens Commitment to the City of Detroit with New Jobs and New Jeep® Grand Cherokee Diesel for North America

- Chrysler Group to add a third crew and 1,100 jobs to Jefferson North Assembly Plant in Detroit
- Chrysler Group to build Jeep® Grand Cherokee diesel for North America in Detroit next year
- Chrysler Group to reopen Conner Avenue Assembly Plant in Detroit, adding 150 jobs

January 5, 2012 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - Chrysler Group LLC is strengthening its ties with the City of Detroit by adding a third crew and 1,100 new jobs at its Jefferson North Assembly Plant in Detroit (JNAP), expanding the Jeep® Grand Cherokee lineup to include a diesel version for North America in the city and reaffirming plans to add 150 jobs by reopening its Conner Avenue Assembly Plant, also located in the Motor City for production of the ultimate American sports car – the SRT Viper.

"Our future, like the history of our brands, is interwoven with the City of Detroit," said Chrysler Group Chairman and CEO Sergio Marchionne. "Detroit long has been home to renowned innovators and craftsmen. So it is in the Motor City, home of our industrial heritage and a resilient people, that we are entrusting the manufacture not only of the ultimate American sports car, the SRT Viper, and the Jeep Grand Cherokee – the most awarded SUV ever – but also a diesel version of the Jeep Grand Cherokee for North American markets.

"We believe that investing in Detroit is not only the right thing to do, but it is a smart thing to do as we work to write the next chapter in our shared history," Marchionne said.

Through its new commitments in the Motor City – the city in which the Company has its earliest roots – Chrysler Group is embracing its Detroit heritage and weaving it into the fiber of its future plans, which include producing fuel-efficient, environmentally clean vehicles, such as a Jeep Grand Cherokee diesel. And by adding 1,250 jobs at its two downtown Detroit manufacturing plants, Chrysler Group is demonstrating its belief in the passion, skill and steadfast dedication of the Motor City to build luxurious, high-quality, state-of-the art vehicles that are true to a shared heritage and aspire to create a better and sustainable future.

"We are pleased to have Chrysler Group acknowledge the contributions of the UAW here in the Motor City by relying on our workforce to produce two of its most acclaimed vehicles," said General Holiefield, UAW Vice President-Chrysler Department. "Our workers nationwide have had a rough couple of years along with the American auto industry and we are proud to be partners in building a future of success starting right here in Detroit."

The new third crew of approximately 1,100 jobs that Chrysler Group is adding at JNAP, home of the Jeep Grand Cherokee and the Dodge Durango, will be part of an operating pattern, called the 3-2-120 schedule, that allows each employee an additional 49 days off per year while enabling the plant an additional 49 days of annual production.

JNAP was the first Chrysler Group plant in Michigan to add a second crew of production, or about 1,100 jobs, in July 2010. It also was the first Chrysler Group plant to add new hires to its ranks. Current employment at the plant is approximately 2,890.

The new jobs and product announcements build upon Chrysler Group's existing commitment, announced last month, to reopen the Conner Avenue Assembly Plant to produce the next generation SRT Viper. With Conner's reopening, nearly 150 hourly and salaried jobs will return to the City of Detroit.

The next generation Viper will make its return to the product lineup late this year as a 2013 model. Conner employees began reporting for training and orientation in the fall.


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  • 94 Comments
      MJC
      • 3 Years Ago
      Sergio is rocking it - who would have thought a few years ago that Chrysler would actually make this happen? I hope they price it well, but I fear they will not. There needs to be diesel option in the Laredo trim level, not just a high-end model.
        Making11s
        • 3 Years Ago
        @MJC
        I agree that Chrysler's resurgence is pretty amazing, but there was a diesel option in the Grand Cherokee back in 2007.
          montoym
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Making11s
          But, that diesel option was only available on the Overland and Limited models. Most GC's purchased are Laredos, the previous diesel, I believe, was finally available on the Laredo trim just before they stopped producing it and they never advertised its availability.
      Steve
      • 3 Years Ago
      Great idea. One in the jeep and another in the Darango. Now, the Ram 1500 needs a turbo diesel and maybe the new Dodge Dart to compete with the VW Golf diesel. Bring it on DODGE!!!!
      David
      • 3 Years Ago
      Now put a diesel in a Wrangler.
      tritonstrategies
      • 3 Years Ago
      What kind of mileage and when does it go into the Wrangler?
        guyverfanboy
        • 3 Years Ago
        @tritonstrategies
        There was a review of the Jeep Grand Cherokee CRD awhile that gave a 22/32 city/ highway mpg with their ancient 5-speed tranny. With the 8-speed tranny adding 1 mpg in town and 4 mpg highway, I would say 23/36 with the XF transmission. Either way, this or the Dodge Durango 3.0 CRD will be my next suv. :-D
        rmkensington
        • 3 Years Ago
        @tritonstrategies
        The bigger question is how much will it cost you. The mileage will definitely increase, but is it offset by a higher initial price?
          axiomatik
          • 3 Years Ago
          @rmkensington
          I was just in Phoenix for the holidays, and one station I noticed had diesel at about 80 cents over gasoline.
          dreadcthulhu01
          • 3 Years Ago
          @rmkensington
          And then you have to factor in diesel being a good 50 cents more per gallon than regular gasoline in the US. Which makes the payoff time even longer.
          montoym
          • 2 Years Ago
          @rmkensington
          @ axiomatik: Yup, that happens in winter when gasoline demand is at its lowest and diesel demand remains high due to heating oil (which is essentially diesel fuel). You'll see the prices for gasoline start to climb in the near future while the price of diesel falls and they'll even out and climb together around spring. Happens every year.
      mamadb24
      • 3 Years Ago
      VW Sport Wagen TDI 45 to 50 MPH under 30 Grand 85% Resale after two Years. It is about time American car manufacturers caught up. Start treating customers like people, and sales should soar.
        hduplease
        • 3 Years Ago
        @mamadb24
        yea i bought one of those 2011 jetta tdi, kept it for seven months biggest pos i ever owned, took a loss but i dumped it, broke down 3 times in 6000 mi, should of known better, never will i buy foreign again
          k9182
          • 3 Years Ago
          @hduplease
          I'm not a fan of VWs either, but your patriotism is ridiculous when you can't even write properly in your own language. Some mistakes are understandable, but saying "could of" is simply stupid.
          johnjhenry1
          • 3 Years Ago
          @hduplease
          vw sucks,so do american cars
      more30
      • 3 Years Ago
      Wow....adding jobs here in America! ! ! What a novel idea!
      Alex Rodriguez MacFa
      • 3 Years Ago
      Nice!!! All SUVs should be diesel not just because of the mileage but the torque needed to climb local mountains with the car loaded. I wanted the Touareg but with its hefty price tag of $58K fully loaded, I think the Grand Cherokee might be a the better choice assuming that it will cost $10K less. That's what GM should have done with its Hammers!!
      BDB
      • 2 Years Ago
      The European version is rated at 28mpg combined and 32 highway on the European cycle.... :)
      jeniusboy58
      • 2 Years Ago
      Maybe the auto workers won't milk the employers this time around so they can afford to keep doing business here.. I heard all kinds of stories from people who use to work at GM around my home town. One I never forgot was a guy I built a garage addition for and he was bragging about jamming the machine he ran at work on days he didn't feel like working because it would take the mechanical trades people the rest of the day to repair it. Now all those plants are setting empty.
      CarCrazy24
      • 2 Years Ago
      Love this! As mentioned, if the Jeep comes with an 8 speed Auto and AWD, I will buy. Let's hope it bests the MPG numbers of the Toureg and ML diesels!
      FoxJ30
      • 3 Years Ago
      I read this more as FIAT will be making a significant push to sell these in Europe - and that Europeans will have the opportunity to buy a car, well, Imported From Detroit...
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        threefortyduster
        • 3 Years Ago
        Nah, just stick to what you know, because the first time something goes wrong, you'll just bitch and moan about it being an American piece of junk and how you'll never own an American car again. Please, just stay away.
        Larry
        • 3 Years Ago
        Please don't stay with VW, becausse as threefortyduster said the first time you have a problem you spew your hate for Jeep all around. Stay with the VW TDI and enjoy.
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