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2014 Jeep Cherokees are maybe good to go

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All you Jeep Cherokee devotees, who have been patiently waiting to get behind the wheel of the new smaller 2014 version of the vehicle, can now exhale because they'll reportedly be en route to dealerships across this great land in about ten days, according to Automotive News (AN).

There have been roughly 23,000 Jeep Cherokees built since June but AN reports, that powertrain issues have been blamed for the delay in shipment. The crossover's automaker, Chrysler, has stated in the past that they were keeping several thousand 2014 Jeep Cherokees from dealers because they needed to "tweak" the operational software of the new mid-size SUV's powertrain. According to AN however, the vehicle was not delivered to showrooms in September, as promised by the automaker last July, due to the installation of new software to smooth out the way the engine, nine-speed transmission and innovative disconnecting drivetrain interact.

In order to ensure that the powertrain has been "tweaked" just right, the automaker has reportedly been test driving each Cherokee before it is released for delivery states AN.

The 2014 Jeep Cherokee which replaces the Liberty and is based on a Fiat platform will be positioned between the brand’s two bookends – the Jeep Wrangler and Jeep Grand Cherokee. The nine-speed auto transmission for Cherokee was designed by Germany's ZF Friedrichshafen AG but that company said in the past the transmissions themselves were being built by Chrysler.

In July, Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne stated in a conference call to reporters that the company was delaying shipments of the Cherokee until September, as it investigates gearbox issues with the vehicle. The company head also alluded to the fact, that any more delays with the Cherokee could put quite a hurting on the company's pockets. "The second half (financial goal for 2013) is not doable without a proper launch of the Cherokee. We've been without a car in that segment for about a year, and we're paying a huge price for not having the Liberty. It’s an absolutely necessary condition to achieve our targets,” he said.

Chrysler invested $500 million in the Toledo plant to build the 2014 Jeep Cherokee Cherokee and production of the vehicle began in June -- about a month later than expected. The 3.9 million square-foot facility is capable of producing 896 Cherokees a day, or about 50 vehicles per hour, during two nine-hour shifts.

The 2014 Jeep Cherokee will come in four trims and have a sticker ranging from $22,995 to $29,495.

--Car Chick®

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