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New Commitment to Quality Reflected in All Aspects of 2011 Jeep® Grand Cherokee

June 19, 2010,  Auburn Hills, Mich. -

The all-new 2011 Jeep® Grand Cherokee is the first Chrysler Group LLC vehicle created and built with the company’s all-new approach to quality.

Chrysler Group is investing in quality improvements and has created a stronger, centralized Quality organization. In two years, the Quality staff has increased to 1,500 people from 200, working on a coordinated strategy.

“The vehicles we’re building right now, across the lineup, have the best reliability in the company’s history due to continuous improvements of existing products,” said Doug Betts, Senior Vice President – Quality, Chrysler Group LLC.

“The all-new Jeep Grand Cherokee is the first vehicle to be developed, tested and built since the company redefined its approach to quality and customer satisfaction.”

Chrysler Group also has adopted new quality processes from its global alliance partner, Fiat. As the Jeep Grand Cherokee approaches production, evaluators are testing the sport-utility vehicle on public roads during typical customer driving and ownership scenarios – 2.5 million miles worth of customer experiences.

“Our goal is to identify any potential issue, and fix it, before it reaches the customer,” explained Betts. “Using the vehicle in the environment and in the way a customer will use it, similar to Fiats’ approach, gives us a more complete understanding of potential issues with the vehicle. It’s a good supplement to the extensive testing done in-house by Jeep and the company’s Quality engineers.”

The 2.5 million miles of public road testing is in addition to the 7.5 million customer-equivalent miles Quality engineers logged during reliability and durability testing in the company’s scientific labs, at its proving grounds, and on public roads in various climates.

To improve the Jeep Grand Cherokee’s performance quality – how it performs versus the competition – engineers measured approximately 320 physical characteristics of best-in-class vehicles. Criteria such as acceleration, braking, handling, seat comfort, storage space, fuel economy and towing capability were benchmarked and the Grand Cherokee was designed to compete with the best.

The Jeep Grand Cherokee’s all-new 3.6-liter V-6 engine recorded more than 3.3 million customer-equivalent miles on engine dynamometers prior to production. Testing was increased by 50 percent compared to previous Chrysler V-6 engines, to guarantee a long life against severe conditions and to accommodate high-load applications such as trailer-towing. Reducing noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) was a key objective for every engine component and was achieved using advanced computer-aided engineering techniques.

To reduce wind noise and drag, the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee underwent approximately 250 hours of aerodynamic evaluations in Chrysler Group’s state-of-the-art aerodynamic and acoustic test facility in Auburn Hills, Mich.

“Even though we sweated the details on the new Jeep Grand Cherokee, we recognize that the customer ultimately decides whether it’s a quality vehicle,” said Betts. “Some customers make that decision the first time they see a vehicle, even before they drive it or read product reviews.”

To that end, Chrysler Group established the perceived quality (PQ) initiative. Engineers developed PQ criteria to measure and evaluate Chrysler Group vehicles as well as the competition. The Grand Cherokee’s fit-and-finish, high quality materials, ergonomics, and even the sound quality of moveable parts were assessed by the PQ team.

The 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee was designed, developed, and built with quality as a top priority at every stage of the process. As part of a comprehensive strategy, Chrysler Group’s ultimate goal is to build high quality vehicles that owners will be proud to recommend to their friends and family members.



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