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The Australian arrival of the new Jeep Cherokee has been postponed until next year following US production delays.

Fiat Chrysler Group Australia director of corporate affairs Karla Leach confirmed reports that Chrysler Group is pushing back the launch of the Jeep Cherokee due to delays at the company’s Toledo Assembly Complex in Ohio.

While not commenting specifically on a report from industry journal Automotive News suggesting that fit-and-finish issues and fine-tuning of the Cherokee’s new nine-speed ZF automatic transmission were partly responsible for the delays, Leach told CarAdvice that a “more realistic” timeframe for the SUV’s local launch would be Q1 2014 rather than the previously targeted Q4 2013.

Toledo Assembly Complex - Ohio

The international launch of the Jeep Cherokee has already been pushed back from late June to mid August, while US dealers are now not expecting to have vehicles in showrooms until September.

Leach said the production of left-hand-drive models for the US market would take priority ahead of our right-hand-drive variants, explaining the local delay.

Jeep Cherokee - 2

The new Cherokee features an exterior dominated by a redesigned seven-slat chrome grille, chrome-framed lower air intake and an exclusive four-eyed headlight design.

Jeep claims fuel economy figures of better than 7.8 litres per 100km thanks to its dual-engine line-up comprising a new 2.4-litre Tigershark four-cylinder and Chrysler Group’s first-time use of its new 3.2-litre Pentastar V6.