1977 Jeep Cherokee Chief Sport Utility 2-door on 2040-cars
Cypress, Texas, United States
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Auto blogWed, 09 Jan 2013 11:33:00 EST
Last year was good to Jeep. Chrysler has announced its trail-rated brand set an all-time global sales record in 2012 by moving 701,626 units. That number easily surpasses the previous record set in 1999 when Jeep sold 675,494 models. All told, the brand saw a 19-percent sales increase worldwide over 2011, and much of that swell can be traced directly to the Wrangler. While the Grand Cherokee led Jeep sales, the Wrangler posted record numbers both globally and within the US, moving 194,142 and 141,669 units in each market, respectively.
Meanwhile, the Compass beat its previous global sales record with 103,321 units rolling off of dealer lots. In the US, Jeep sold 62,010 Patriot units, breaking that model's previous record as well. Jeep's impressive performance in 2012 marks the second year in a row the brand has seen double-digit percentage sales increases. Check out the full press release below.
The new Jeep Cherokee has been quite a success for Chrysler, but its factory workers are getting tired. The automaker has agreed to hire up to 1,000 part-time, temporary employees at its Toledo Assembly Complex where the CUV and Wrangler are built. It will allow the company to keep Jeep production moving, while giving laborers a break.
According to plant manager Chuck Padden in the Toledo Blade, full-time workers are regularly taking on 60 hours a week, and it's beginning to wear on them. "To get them more time off is important to us, to make sure they're refreshed, and can work safely," said Padden.
Chrysler has already hired 380 temporary, part-time workers for the plant, and 50 have been converted to full-time employees. The company is in the process of interviewing the rest of the new hires now and plans to have all 1,000 in place by the summer. They will work between 10 and 30 hours a week mostly on weekends for $15.78 per hour with limited benefits. The temporary positions will last "as long as demand continues for the Jeep Wrangler and the Jeep Cherokee," said Jodi Tinson, Chrysler spokesperson for manufacturing and labor communications, to Autoblog in an email.
Earlier this month, a very significant Jeep was celebrated at the Toledo North Assembly plant. No, it wasn't the upcoming reincarnation of the Jeep Cherokee, but instead it was a 1943 Willys MB that visited the Toledo grounds where it had been built exactly 70 years ago to the day.
Of course, the actual building where the MBs rolled off the assembly line before heading to Europe for World War II no longer exists, but that didn't stop Italian owner Vittorio Argento from having the vehicle shipped to the US to make its trek back to its birth place. According to Chrysler, Argento's MB is still 95-percent original and it drove 1,000 miles from New Jersey to Toledo.
The whole adventure was chronicled on a blog aptly named A Jeep Comes Home. Scroll down for a brief video from Chrysler and for some photos of the Toledo visit and be sure to read more at Argento's blog.