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Diesel Jeep Grand Cherokee coming in 2013

Fri, 06 Jan 2012 00:00:00 -0800

Chrysler Group will offer a diesel Jeep Grand Cherokee in North America in 2013, and add a third shift at a Detroit SUV plant next year.

The diesel Grand Cherokee will return to the North America market for the first time since 2008, spokesman Todd Goyer said.

Jeep has continued to sell diesel versions of its SUV lineup elsewhere.

Chrysler said it would add 1,100 workers as part of the plan to add a third shift at the Jefferson North assembly plant in Detroit next year.

The factory now assembles the Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango and is expected to build portions of the upcoming Maserati Kubang, an SUV scheduled to make its North American debut next week at the Detroit auto show.

Maserati is a unit of Fiat S.p.A., which controls Chrysler.

Grand Cherokee sales climbed 51 percent in the United States during 2011 to 127,744 units, while Durango sales hit 51,697 units in its first full year back on the market.

Off-road enthusiasts have long pleaded for diesel engine options across the Jeep lineup because of the diesel's torque and fuel efficiency.

By Larry P. Vellequette- Automotive News