BUSINESS

Chrysler skips summer shutdown of factory to keep up with Grand Cherokee demand

04/30/2012 12:00 EDT | Updated 06/30/2012 05:12 EDT
DETROIT - Sales of Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango SUVs are so strong that their factory will stay open through the normal two-week summer shutdown.

Automakers typically close plants around the July 4 holiday to update cars and trucks for the new model year and maintain the machinery.

But Chrysler spokeswoman Jodi Tinson says the Jefferson North factory in Detroit that makes the SUVs will stay open all summer. The plant is working overtime on two shifts and running two of every three Saturdays.

Chrysler sold nearly 38,000 Grand Cherokees from January through March, up 44 per cent from a year ago. Durango sales were up 33 per cent at just over 11,000.

Tinson says Chrysler can make changes for the 2013 model year while the plant is running.