Chrysler has its order books full with the new 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee, so much that the company has decided to go for a second shift at its Jefferson North Assembly Plant to meet the increasing demand for the luxury five-seater SUV that has seen a growth by about a third since the new redesigned version was introduced.
Adding a second shift will lead to the inclusion of as many as 1,080 new workers with the production line slated to becomes operational from July 19th, revealed CEO Sergio Marchionne a ceremony to mark the production launch of the vehicle. The plant already has in its rolls 1,700 employees.
Michael Manley, CEO of the Jeep brand also said during the ceremony that initial orders itself were about 30 to 40 percent more than they had anticipated. However, Chrysler officials were loathe to reveal what figures they are looking at at the end of the year for the Grand Cherokee. With 50,328 of the SUVs sold in 2009, this was a 32 percent decline in the number compared to the figure of the preceding year which was a reflection of the wide spread drop in sales in the SUV segment.
Meanwhile, the year 1999 happens to be the best year ever for the Grand Cherokee at it had sold as many as 300,031 of the vehicles during that period. Chrysler has has plans to make a new SUV at the factory starting from the fourth quarter. The vehicle will be able to seat seven, will wear the Dodge badged and is set to replace the in the Dodge lineup.