is on the leading edge of a Jeep product
28 July 2005.
Group is today marking the manufacturing launch of the
all-new 2006 Jeep
Commander at the Jefferson
North (Detroit) Assembly Plant, which has been the
home of the
Jeep Grand Cherokee
since 1992. Commander is the fourth model in
brand line up, along with the Toledo-built Wrangler and
Commander production marks the
first time that JNAP has had the capability to
produce more than one model at a time. The
Group is giving each of its assembly plants the ability to
produce multiple models on one production line, giving the
Company the agility needed to respond quickly to market
demand. Additionally, the plant will begin producing the
SRT8 version of the Grand
Cherokee in November.
roof provides 2nd and 3rd row occupants
with plenty of head room.
"This manufacturing flexibility is
critical to the future success of the Chrysler
Group," said Simon Boag, Vice President - Assembly
and Stamping, Chrysler Group. "As we transform our
operations, we are giving the Company the freedom to
schedule any build order necessary."
In addition to other plants, the
Company previously announced the next two plants that will
become fully flexible: Belvidere (Ill.) Assembly Plant,
where Dodge Caliber production will begin in the
first quarter of 2006, and Sterling Heights (Mich.)
Assembly Plant, which produces the Chrysler
Sebring and Dodge
year both plants will have the ability to produce
multiple models in batch sizes as small as one unit.
Such flexibility is critical to
accommodate Chrysler Group's on-going Chrysler, Jeep
brand product offensive, including a record breaking year
of new product introductions planned for 2006.
with three rows of seats.
With foresight and strategic planning,
the plant changeover to Commander production was primarily
accomplished during the plant's Jeep
Grand Cherokee changeover
in early 2004, eliminating the need for two retooling
periods. That move not only avoided the costs associated
with a second retooling, it also gave the plant the
ability to start piloting the Commander a full eight
months before customer production in a rolling launch that
did not require any additional down week or weeks.
The company invested $241
million into JNAP in preparation for the production
of the Jeep Grand Cherokee.
Part of that investment -- $104 million -- was for
Commander body, paint and assembly tooling.
is two inches longer than the Grand
To accommodate the new model, many
Commander-specific modifications were made to the plant.
For example, the Commander is two inches longer than
the Grand Cherokee, so changes had to be made along
the assembly line from body-in-white to final
assembly. And as the first Jeep with three rows of
seats, additional ergonomic arms had to be added to the
assembly line to assist operators with seat
installation. The Commander's unique Command
View skylights over the second row of seats required
additional robots to insert overhead
glass. About $25 million was invested into robotics
for Commander's new body style.
and third row seats fold forward to create
a flat load floor.
- Recent agreements with UAW-represented employees have
also cleared the way for new operating principles.
The pacts are designed to foster greater creativity and
innovation on the plant floor. They allow for work teams,
self-designed work stations, a framework for flexible job
classifications and extensive employee
training. These elements will help provide a better,
safer work environment and further support assembly line
The all-new 2006 Jeep Commander
is on the leading edge of a Jeep product offensive
scheduled for the next few years. With its classic
design, the Commander is engineered to perform as only
Jeep vehicles can, is the first with three rows of seats
and is equipped with advanced safety technologies.
Commander shares the same exhilarating performance as its
sibling, the Grand Cherokee, produced by the 5.7-liter
HEMI V-8 engine with the Multi-Displacement System.
instrument panel is a design unique to
Sequenced Parts Delivery
- Aiding the production of the Jeep Commander is a
360,000 square-foot facility where parts are sequenced for
just-in-time delivery. The center, which is just south of
JNAP, has supported production at the plant since
July 2004 and is operated by TDS/US. This certified
minority-owned Tier 1 enterprise will handle the
sequencing of parts for the Jeep Commander. The
TDS/US-managed center with a total workforce of about 200
employees, handles nearly 1,500 unique parts from more
than 35 commodities, like Door Kits or Trim Kits. There
are currently eight sequenced parts delivery
operations supporting Chrysler Group plants.
Sequencing centers such as the one at
Jefferson organize parts, deliver them to work stations on
the vehicle assembly line and keep in-plant stocks at an
optimal level. By carefully managing the material flow of
the plant, the sequencing center helps JNAP focus on
TDS/US is a proven logistics supplier
to the Chrysler Group. Earlier this year Chrysler
announced its largest minority logistics contract by
mandating TDS/US to operate an inbound parts sequencing
center for DaimlerChrysler's Belvidere (Ill.) Assembly
Plant. The contract with TDS/US at JNAP is another
demonstration of Chrysler Group's commitment to
Commitment to Detroit
- The Jefferson North Assembly Plant is one of
Chrysler Group's six manufacturing facilities in the
City of Detroit. Others include Conner Assembly Plant,
Detroit Axle Plant, Mack Engine I
and II, and Mt. Elliott Tool & Die.
Other operations include the Plymouth Road Office
Complex (PROC), the UAW/DaimlerChrysler National Training
Center, and DaimlerChrysler Transport. The
company's commitment to the city is strong, and
with 14, 000 employees, is one of Detroit's largest
private employers. The company has invested over $6
billion in the city since 1990.
Commander is a modern interpretation of a
classical design ethic.
- Jefferson North Assembly Plant has approximately
2,700 employees and is 2.6 million square feet. It built
the first Jeep Grand Cherokee in January 1992.
Commander Production in Europe
- The all-new Jeep Commander will also be built at the
Magna Steyr manufacturing facility in Graz, Austria.
Production is scheduled to begin in early 2006 to support
demand in Europe and other markets outside of North
America. The vehicle will join the five other
Chrysler Group products already produced in Graz: the Jeep
Grand Cherokee, Chrysler 300C Sedan and Touring, Chrysler
Voyager and the Chrysler Grand Voyager with the exclusive
Stow ‘n Go™ seating and storage system. Jeep
Commander will have its European premiere at the 2005
International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt. It will
expand and strengthen what is already a strong Jeep
lineup, bringing the powertrains, functionality, style,
safety and value that international customers demand.
designed seats are supportive and
Jeep Lineup Expansion - “The
2006 Jeep Commander
is significant for a number of reasons,” said Jeff Bell,
Vice President Jeep, Chrysler Group. “First, Commander
signals our commitment to remain the leader in the
sport-utility market, a market that Jeep invented more
than 60 years ago. This is the first seven-passenger 4x4
that is Jeep Trail Rated. Second, Commander is the only
SUV in its class to offer two V-8 engines. In addition,
the Jeep Commander expands and strengthens what is already
a stellar lineup, consisting of the Wrangler, Liberty and
Grand Cherokee. And finally, the all-new Jeep
Commander initiates the
expansion of the Jeep vehicle lineup that will take place
during the second half of this decade.”
Heritage - In developing the
2006 Jeep Commander, designers looked to past Jeep
vehicles for inspiration: the Willys Station Wagons (1946
to 1962), the Jeep Wagoneer (1963 to 1991) and especially
the Jeep Cherokee (1984 to 2001). All were classically
Jeep in appearance, with sharp lines, planar surfaces and
rugged looks. The 2006 Jeep Commander is a modern
interpretation of that design ethic.
row slightly higher than the one in front
The Jeep Commander’s upright
windshield, backlite and rear end, as well as its more
vertical body sides and side glass, embody the vehicle’s
classic Jeep styling. Even the side-view mirrors are
blocky and stout. Overall, Commander looks strong and
confident because of its military bearing - upright and
“The Jeep Cherokee is an authentic,
classic shape that is rooted in the public consciousness,”
said Donald A. Renkert, Senior Manager, Jeep Studio,
Chrysler Group Product Design Office. “By reinterpreting
that vehicle, and other classic Jeep vehicles of the past,
the Jeep Commander elicited nods of recognition from
consumers, even though it is a brand new vehicle. There is
a sense of deja vu about the Jeep Commander that brings
knowing smiles of satisfaction.”
The satisfaction continues inside the
vehicle, where attention to detail is evident. For
example, the two-tone instrument panel is a design unique
to Commander. From the gear shift knob, to the four round
gauges that make up the instrument cluster, to the new
steering wheel, Commander is refined and uniquely Jeep in
Commander Rear DVD Player.
The newly designed seats are supportive
and comfortable. And, for the first time in a Jeep
vehicle, there are three rows of them, each row slightly
higher than the one in front of it. This distinctive
stadium seating arrangement makes forward viewing easier.
The second and third row seats fold forward to create a
flat load floor. Commander is only two inches longer than
the 2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee, even though it is designed
to accommodate three rows of seats. And since they have
the same wheelbase (109.5 inches), Commander is as
maneuverable and off-road capable as the Grand Cherokee.
The Jeep Commander’s stepped roof
provides second and third row occupants with plenty of
head room. Complementing the available front-mounted sun
roof is Command-View™, new and innovative skylights
(complete with shades) over the second row of seats.
Go Anywhere, Do Anything -
Class-leading off-road capability and on-road refinement
were mandatory for the Jeep Commander. So the Jeep team
went to the head of the class: They provided Commander
with the same 4x4 systems, suspension and powertrains as
the award-winning 2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee, including an
independent front suspension and rack and pinion steering.
Available on Commander are:
Three full-time four-wheel drive
systems, Quadra-Trac I®, Quadra-Trac II® and
Two transfer cases offering Brake
Traction Control System (BTCS), and Electronic Limited
Slip Differentials (ELSD) for best-in-class tractive
Three available engines: the
5.7-liter HEMI® V-8 with the Multi-Displacement
System, the 4.7-liter SOHC Power Tech V-8, and the
3.7-liter SOHC Power Tech V-6 engine
skylights (with shades) over the second
row of seats.
“The on-road refinement and off-road
capability of the 2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee are key reasons
why it was named 4x4 of the Year by 4-Wheel & Off-Road
magazine,” said Craig Love, Vice President, Rear-Wheel
Drive Product Team. “Now, the only vehicle on the market
with the same pedigree is the all-new Jeep Commander.”
Safety and Security - Like all
Chrysler Group vehicles, the 2006 Jeep Commander is
designed to improve not only handling and accident
avoidance, but also to provide excellent crash protection.
Jeep Commander is the first Chrysler
Group vehicle with electronic roll mitigation. Using input
from multiple sensors, the system deploys the air bags in
certain rollover scenarios, as well as side impact events.
Crash protection features available on
the Jeep Commander include advanced multi-stage air bags
with an Occupant Classification System, available side
curtain air bags, seat belts equipped with pretensioners
and digressive load limiting retractors, and BeltAlert®,
a buckle-up reminder system for the driver.
Commander Third-row HVAC.
Crash avoidance features on the 2006
Jeep Commander include standard Electronic Stability
Program (ESP), Anti-Lock Brake System (ABS) and an
All-Speed Traction Control System (TCS). A tire pressure
monitoring system, ParkSense™ rear park assist, Uconnect™
hands-free communications, DVD-based navigation system,
SmartBeam® headlamps and rain sensitive wipers provide
additional safety and security on the road.
Jeep Trail Rated - The Jeep
Trail Rated badge on the 2006 Jeep Commander shows that
the vehicle has been designed to perform in a variety of
challenging off-road conditions identified by five key
consumer-oriented performance categories: Traction, Ground
Clearance, Maneuverability, Articulation and Water
Jeep Trail Rated is an industry-leading
methodology established by the Nevada Automotive Test
Center (NATC) and Jeep Engineering to objectively measure
and consistently predict off-road performance for all Jeep
vehicles today and into the future. Through a combination
of natural and controlled field tests, as well as computer
simulated environments, Jeep Trail Rated provides a
repeatable and consistent measurement of off-road
performance for all Jeep vehicles. Only Jeep vehicles are