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Jefferson North Assembly Plant’s Five Millionth Vehicle Marks Milestone In More Ways Than One

May 20, 2014

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Jefferson North Assembly Plant employee Andrea Rhodes snaps a photo of fellow employee Robert Ridley in front of the five millionth vehicle.

Last fall, the five millionth vehicle rolled off the assembly line at Jefferson North Assembly Plant (JNAP) in Detroit. To many, the 2014 Jeep® Grand Cherokee Overland looked like any other vehicle, but to the 50 JNAP employees and the plant’s Veterans’ Committee with 30 or more years of service, this Jeep was anything but ordinary. For them, the five millionth vehicle symbolized more than two decades of hard work and resilience.

“I can remember when they were drawing up plans for JNAP and nobody thought it was going to be a success,” Rose Bell, a parts specialist at JNAP, said. For Bell, whose worked at Jefferson North since its opening, the  5 millionth vehicle celebration showed the plants ability prove those who doubted the plant’s success wrong. “Back then, the mayor of the city of Detroit, Coleman Young really fought for us, he said that we could do it and as you see 5 million Jeep vehicles later, we actually have done it.”

For other long time JNAP employees the celebration evoked feelings of pride and recognition of fellow employees.

“I’m just proud to be a part of this company,” Claude Dennis Dent, Assembly Team Member at JNAP said.  “Some of my older friends, some of which are here with me today that have been here for over 50 years.”

Five millionth Vehicle Donated to USO
As another way to mark the five millionth milestone, the Jeep brand donated the five millionth JNAP-built vehicle to the USO, as part of a multifaceted partnership that continues the Jeep brand’s commitment to the military by providing support and aid to returning U.S. military heroes.

In 2013, the Jeep brand pledged to donate more $1 million in vehicles and funding to the USO to be used in programs that directly support returning service members and their families.

 

 

Historical Snapshot of Jefferson North
1907-1989: The former Jefferson Assembly Plant, built by Chalmers Motor Car Company, was twice the size of the new plant’s original footprint and produced a total of 8,310,107 vehicles in its 83-year history.

May 31, 1989:  Official Ground breaking for the new Chrysler Jefferson North Assembly Plant

Jan. 14, 1992: The first Jeep Grand Cherokee rolled off the line

2005-2010: Produced Jeep Commander over five year span

December 2010: Began production of Dodge Durango

August 13, 2013: Five millionth vehicle rolls off the line at Jefferson North

Jefferson North Assembly Plant Employees with 30 or more years of service during a celebration of the five millionth JNAP-built vehicle on Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2013. The five millionth vehicle, a 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland (left), is being donated by the Jeep brand to the USO. The 1993 Jeep Grand Cherokee was the first model to roll off the line in 1992.

Jefferson North Assembly Plant Employees with 30 or more years of service during a celebration of the five millionth JNAP-built vehicle on Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2013. The five millionth vehicle, a 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland (left), is being donated by the Jeep brand to the USO. The 1993 Jeep Grand Cherokee was the first model to roll off the line in 1992.