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Chrysler to Hire 1,100 at Detroit Jeep Plant

Maker counting on ’11 Grand Cherokee to rebuild momentum.

by on May.21, 2010

Chrysler is betting it can sell enough copies of the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee to justify the launch of a second production shift at the Jefferson North Assembly Plant.

Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne says the struggling automaker will add 1,100 workers, most on a new second shift, as it ramps up production of the all-new 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee.

While some workers will be called back from among the many idled in recent years, a significant number of the 1,100 will be new hires, company officials revealed.

The Jeep Grand Cherokee is the brand’s flagship sport-utility vehicle but has seen a significant slump in sales.  Analysts blame not only rising fuel prices – which have impacted all traditional SUVs – but also the poorly-reviewed boxy design of the outgoing model.

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Not only has Chrysler revamped the styling for 2011 but heavily updated the 3-million square foot Jefferson North Assembly Plant where the new Jeep Grand Cherokee officially went into production today.

Aiming to reduce its quality problems – which have repeatedly earned it poor marks from third-party arbiters like J.D. Power and Associates and Consumer Reports magazine – Chrysler has introduced 600 robots into Jefferson North, which first opened in 1992, the same time Jeep launched the original Grand Cherokee.  In all, the maker is investing $700 million to update the factory.