5 Reasons the Jeep Cherokee is as American as Apple Pie

September 27th, 2018 by

It’s important to support businesses in America, and this can be done by purchasing cars made right here. in the U.S Thirteen years ago, Cars.com created the American Made Test, which evolved into the American Made Index, to look at and determine which vehicles were the most American made. For 2018, the Jeep Cherokee not only made the list; it came out on top. Here are some of the reasons the Jeep Cherokee is as American as apple pie.

Assembly Location

Jeep produces and assembles the Cherokee right in Belvidere, Illinois. In 2016, Jeep invested $350 million dollars in the plant in order to produce the Cherokee, and it uses over 15 different local business to supply parts for the SUV. The Belvidere plant started assembling the Cherokee in 2017 after moving the production from Toledo. 

Domestic Parts Content

Another factor Cars.com takes into consideration is the percentage of parts produced in the United States. According to their research, 72 percent of the Cherokee’s parts come from American factories. Many of the parts used in the Belvidere assembly plant come from businesses within just a few miles of the plant, including factories and plants in Michigan, Illinois, and Ohio.

U.S. Factory Employment

The Belvidere Assembly Plant also happens to be the largest employer in the area with 5,430 employees. The Belvidere Satellite Stamping Plant sits adjacent to the Chrysler plant where workers produce the sheet metal parts used right on the assembly line. The majority of the assembly is automated, but all the painting and finish work require a human touch. The employees are also responsible for maintaining the hundreds of machines and robots that assemble the Cherokee.

When Jeep moved the production of the Cherokee to Belvidere, the plant received a $350 million update and created over 300 jobs.

Engine and Transmission Sourcing

All of the transmissions used in the Cherokee and all the engines are from the U.S. This includes the 3.2-liter 24-valve VVT engine and the 2.0-liter turbo engine along with the nine-speed automatic transmission. The transmissions for the Cherokee come from Indiana Transmission, a factory in Kokomo, Indiana. There are two plants in this town; the first opened in 1998 and a second in 2003. Other local factories include Kokomo Casting, for aluminum parts, and two U.S. factories where they produce engines for the Cherokee along with other Chrysler, Dodge, and Jeep vehicles.

What’s in a Name

The name Jeep Cherokee is even American. The Cherokees are one of the largest American Indian tribes in the United States. In 2001, Jeep discontinued the Cherokee brand and replaced it with the Liberty, but fans of the Cherokee were happy when they brought it back in 2014.

The Jeep Cherokee has quickly jumped from number two to number one on the Cars.com Most American Made List. You can count on this vehicle to deliver excellent performance behind the wheel, and even better, you know the production helps create jobs right here in the U.S.


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