Steering Wheel Shortage Disrupts Jeep Cherokee & Grand Cherokee Production
The short-lived halt shouldn’t affect dealers or customersby Mark McNabb, on
Production of the 2016 Jeep Cherokee and Jeep Grand Cherokee were halted this week due to a shortage of steering wheels. The short-lived ordeal is over, FCA reports, and dealerships should not feel any negative consequences thanks to a 90-day supply average.
Specifically, Cherokee production was halted when afternoon shifts were shortened Tuesday. Thursday morning shifts were canceled altogether at Jeep’s Toledo North Assembly Plant. Similarly, the Grand Cherokee’s production stopped at Jeep’s Jefferson North Assembly Plant in Detroit on Wednesday morning, with production resuming 24 hours later. Production of the Wrangler was unaffected.
The steering wheels are produced in Mexico by Key Safety Systems, which is headquartered in Sterling Heights, Michigan. Despite the delays, Key Safety System is ranked 91 in Automotive News’ top 100 suppliers to North America, giving it some credit for past work.
Thankfully Jeep has 59,951 unsold Cherokees and 58,277 unsold Grand Cherokees in its national inventory, giving the automaker a 92-day and 87-day supply, respectively of the popular SUVs. It’s worth noting a 60-day supply is considered optimal, allowing for a good-sized dealer inventory without an overcrowding issue.
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Why It Matters
The automotive supply chain is an intricate and delicate thing, never more than a missing batch of screws or a natural disaster away from becoming disrupted. These shutdowns not only affect production numbers and dealership supply, they also affect the assembly line workers who depend on steady hourly shift work for income. Canceled shifts directly translate into less pay. Needless to say, having a smoothly operating supply chain is incredibly important.
Thankfully this shutdown was short and won’t adversely affect dealerships or cause customer awareness of the issue.
Read our full review on the 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk here.
Source: Automotive News