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Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 delayed again

Jeepers creepers: Australian launch timing for the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 flagship has slipped back for a second time.

Second delay for Hemi-powered Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 as 300 sedan sells out

17 Aug 2012

JEEP’S Hemi V8-powered Grand Cherokee SRT8 has been delayed for the second time and now has an official Australian media launch date of October 3, almost two months later than the previous estimate.

The Grand Cherokee SRT8 will now rumble into showrooms four months later than the originally anticipated June arrival, which was subsequently pushed back to August, with local executives blaming global supply problems.

In the meantime, the new Chrysler 300 large sedan that was launched last month is sold out until around November – and the hot SRT8 variant of that vehicle is among the worst affected.

Fiat-Chrysler Group Australia managing director Clyde Campbell recently told journalists he will only have enough stock of the Grand Cherokee SRT8 to initially supply dealers with around two examples each.

Attributing the lack of supply to “component supplier issues”, Mr Campbell said it is necessary to build up sufficient stock of the rumbling muscle-SUV, which is expected to sell well in this country.

“While people will wait for it, you don’t want to keep them waiting 12 or 18 months,” he said.

9 center imageFrom top: Fiat-Chrysler Group's Clyde Campbell Chrysler 300 SRT8.

Australia will receive an allocation of around 1000 Grand Cherokee SRT8s, accounting for 25 per cent of global production, and dealers around the country already hold hundreds of pre-orders.

Examples of the SRT8 have been seen plying Melbourne streets but Mr Campbell said these were being driven by Fiat-Chrysler employees, who were running the cars in as preparation for the media launch.

Powered by a thumping 351kW/630Nm 6.4-litre V8, the Grand Cherokee SRT8 puts the sport into SUV with a blistering sub five-second sprint to 100km/h, despite weighing 2350kg.

To put that into perspective, the V8 version of Audi’s R8 supercar does 0-100km/h in 4.8 seconds.

Grand Cherokee sales are up 302.9 per cent to the end of July this year with 4255 units sold, contributing to Jeep’s overall growth of 127.8 per cent.

Mr Campbell said the recent boost to the already successful Grand Cherokee – which since March this year went from a monthly average of around 460 units to 670 – was largely due to improved supply.

Mr Campbell said supply constraints meant it would take some time to judge the new Chrysler 300, which launched here in early July and sold 91 units in that month, compared with 332 in the same month last year.

“It’s only just hit the market, but we’ve sold what we’ve got and there are waiting lists (so) we won’t know until next year when we have reached a couple of milestones,” he said.

“Prior to the launch we tried to build up a bit of stock, but it’s been pretty well-received. That’s why I say we’ve got to wait until next year before we get a better read.

“We are out (of stock) at the moment until about November. Some variants are affected more than others. I do know SRT8 has quite a waiting list.”

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