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It seems that the software problems with the nine-speed automatic gearbox in the Jeep Cherokee continue to mount. The programming already caused multiple development delays and even postponed the Cherokee's market launch by roughly two months. Now, Jeep has issued another recalibration to hopefully assuage unhappy drivers.

Consumer Reports has just rendered its verdict on two of the more important cars to launch this year - the Mazda3 and the Jeep Cherokee. Considering the value a "Recommended" rating carries with the public and the viciously competitive markets these two cars compete in, Consumer Reports' view could have some impact on their initial success.

Jeep CEO Mike Manley would rather soft-pedal the seven-figure prognostication for now, but Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne won't have it, proclaiming in an interview that Jeep will sell one million units worldwide this year. Manley has called that come-hither number "a stretch," the history of recent gains perhaps reason for his caution: in 2011 the brand sold 568,317 units, followed by the record-breaking tally of 701,626, then another record in 2013 with 731,565 units moved.

In our First Drive article on the 2014 Jeep Cherokee we said, "our informal and thoroughly unscientific opinion is they're going to sell tons of them. Why? Because it is very good." So far, it appears the public concurs. Of course, it's very early – the new compact utility has logged just one month of confirmed sales, but Larry Vellequette at Automotive News says dealers have told him that the second month of sales will be even better, a message that mirrors what we've heard from company e

Now that the 2014 Cherokee is finally on its way to dealerships, Jeep is starting its marketing blitz for its new crossover, beginning with this 60-second TV spot, called Built Free, that premieres today. Set to a Bob Dylan recording--"Motherless Children," 1962--the ad spot discusses something we can all relate to – the feeling of being too busy and too cooped up with everyday tasks to really get out there and explore the world. But as Jeep says in the commercial, "You're still here. And

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On September 23, Automotive News reported that Chrysler had idled the second shift workers it hired just five weeks prior at its Toledo Assembly Complex to build the 2014 Jeep Cherokee. At the time, Chrysler said it had "built the critical number of vehicles we need to stock dealerships once containment is released" and did not want "to put additional strain on our logistics partners ... upon release." That reasoning was not only unusual, it didn't seem to make sense.

In an unusual move, Chrysler is idling its recently hired second shift of 2014 Jeep Cherokee builders because, Chrysler spokeswoman Jodi Tinson said in a statement, it already has built the "critical number of vehicles we need to stock dealerships once containment is released," Automotive News reports.

The Cherokee Is Dead. Long Live The Cherokee.