PRESS RELEASE
June 1, 2006


Chrysler Group To Announce Its First Full-size Diesel-powered SUV in U.S. With Introduction of 2007 Jeep® Grand Cherokee CRD
  • 2007 Jeep Grand Cherokee to run on gas, diesel and E-85
  • Full-size sport-utility vehicle equipped with 3.0-liter common rail turbo diesel
  • Up to 30 percent improvement in fuel economy
  • Class-leading towing, torque, driving range
Auburn Hills, Mich. — Chrysler Group will announce today its plans to produce its first diesel-powered, full-size sport-utility vehicle (SUV) to be offered in the United States. The 2007 Jeep® Grand Cherokee with a 3.0-liter common rail turbo diesel (CRD) engine will arrive at Jeep dealerships in the first quarter of 2007.

"DaimlerChrysler is a leader in automotive diesel applications in Europe, and it makes sense to continue to build on that experience by offering a modern, clean diesel for the U.S. market," said Craig Love, Vice President -- Rear-Wheel-Drive Product Team, Chrysler Group. "The Jeep Grand Cherokee diesel will offer consumers increased fuel economy, class-leading torque, towing and driving range."

The new 3.0-liter CRD engine , built by Mercedes-Benz, produces 215 hp (160 kW) @ 3800 rpm and 376 lb.-ft. torque (510 N·m) @ 1600-2800 rpm and gets an estimated fuel economy of 19 miles city and 23 miles highway. The 2007 Jeep Grand Cherokee CRD offers class-leading torque, outstanding towing capacity (7,400 lbs.), and class-leading driving range of approximately 425 miles. And, clean diesel technology improves fuel economy by up to 30 percent and has up to 20 percent fewer carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. The 3.0-liter CRD engine will be available on the Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo, Limited and Overland models.

"The 3.0-liter CRD is an efficient, smooth-running, clean engine that delivers fuel economy and performance," said Bob Lee, Vice President -- Power Train Product Team, Chrysler Group. "Advanced diesel technology has improved over the last several years; engines are quieter and cleaner due to electronic controls, higher fuel pressures and advanced after-treatment systems."

Chrysler Group was the first automotive manufacturer in the United States to offer a mid-size, diesel-powered SUV, the 2005 Jeep Liberty with a 2.8-liter CRD engine. Based on consumer response, the diesel-powered Jeep Liberty exceeded the company's expectations. More than 11,000 diesel-powered Jeep Liberty vehicles have been sold since production began. The Jeep Liberty diesel continues to be a strong seller, as consumers realize the benefits of diesel technology.

The Jeep brand also announced earlier in the year that the 2007 Jeep GrandCherokee would have a flex-fuel capable 4.7-liter SOHC V-8 engine, which gives customers the ability to use a fuel with an 85 percent concentration of ethanol (E-85) in their vehicles. Flex-fuel vehicles support renewable sources of fuel and reduce emissions. The 2007 Jeep Grand Cherokee continues Chrysler Group's commitment to alternative fuels and technology.

More than 60 percent of Chrysler Group vehicles sold in Western Europe are diesel-powered. Between 2003 and 2007, Chrysler Group will triple the number of diesel offerings outside North America. Of the estimated 20 vehicles available, 12 or more will have the option for a diesel powertrain (up from four in 2003).

The Jeep Grand Cherokee CRD will be manufactured at the Jefferson North Assembly Plant in Detroit. The 3.0-liter CRD engine is built at the Mercedes-Benz Berlin Marienfelde Plant in Berlin, Germany. Pricing will be announced closer to availability.

Jeep Brand
Jeep has seven models in the 2007 model year, the most available to retail consumers at one time in the 65-year history of the brand.

The expansion of the Jeep brand has taken place in just two years. At the start of 2004, the brand's trio of tough, capable, rugged SUVs included the venerable Jeep Grand Cherokee, Jeep Liberty (Cherokee outside North America) and the icon of the brand, the Jeep Wrangler.

In 2005, the Jeep Commander was introduced. This year, the redesigned Jeep Wrangler was unveiled. Also debuting this year are three all-new Jeep vehicles: Jeep Patriot, Jeep Compass and the four-door Jeep Wrangler Unlimited.

Overall sales of Jeep brand vehicles increased 12 percent in 2005 to their highest total since 2000 -- 476,532 units compared with 2004 sales of 427,329 units. Internationally. Outside North America, Jeep brand sales grew 15 percent to 84,019 units in 2005. The positive momentum for the Jeep brand has continued during the 2006 calendar year.

SOURCE:
DaimlerChrysler MediaServices