The new Jeep Grand Cherokee is experiencing such strong demand in the US that the European market will have to wait longer than previously planned to see the model.
The models originally destined for Europe, in production in the US since July 12, will go to furnishing local demand, meaning the fourth quarter 2010 European market appearance is being postponed until the second quarter 2011.
The Detroit plant building the European Grand Cherokee was set to have models ready for the third quarter, and to embark on diesel versions in the first quarter of 2011.
But with the local demand, production efforts for the overseas market are being turned to the local market, and Chrysler Group may have to add extra shifts to cope.
It’s surely a good thing though, that production rates have gone up and new parent company Fiat should be looking closely at why the Jeep Grand Cherokee is just so popular.
So far though, that popularity is expressed only on the US market, and if 2009 figures are anything to go by (Jeep sold just 4,469 Grand Cherokees in Europe last year) the new model will have to be something special to appeal such that those figures would increase.
Jeep will be the only brand left on the European market though, with Chrysler-badged models to be sold as Lancias.
The model could prove a key player in the transition to the new Fiat-Chrysler structure and according to reports, improvements on the production line and in staff training have already been made.
Although the new Grand Cherokee was planned before the Fiat buyout, if production continues at this rate, the car could be an unwitting player in the first significant joint effort on the market since the merger began.