Marchionne: Shortages of parts slow Jeep sales
DETROIT -- Chrysler Group is pressing suppliers to the Jeep Wrangler and Grand Cherokee to increase capacity after bottlenecks cost the company up to 70,000 lost sales globally in 2012, Chrysler-Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne said at the auto show last week.
"On the key products, I'm maxed out," Marchionne said in an interview. "We're investing now in de-bottlenecking all this. Anybody that supplies components to the Grand Cherokee is being pushed to increase capacity. Same thing with people that make Wrangler components."
Jeep set a global sales record last year of 701,626 units, besting the previous record of 675,494 set in 1999. But Marchionne said supplier constraints cost the company as many as 70,000 additional sales.
"I didn't sell all the Grand Cherokees I could have sold. I didn't sell all of the Wranglers that I could have sold because I couldn't make them. There was a natural limitation to my ability to compete," Marchionne said.
That will change in 2013, the CEO promised. Chrysler previously projected to deliver 2.6 million vehicles in 2013, up from 2.4 million in 2012. But Marchionne said adding another 200,000 units for the coming year is not enough.
"We're going to try and push beyond 2.6 million in 2013. We've got a lot of work to do here, but the machine needs to be pushed," he said. "No vacations. No breaks."
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