There will be a new Jeep model to replace the Liberty. It will be built at the Toledo North Assemby Plant, and the plan will include creation of a second shift that will augment the Ohio plant's workforce by 1,100-plus positions. The 2013-model Jeep SUV will be developed with a $1.7 billion investment from parent Chrysler, and that bankrolling includes a $500 million renovation to the plant itself to add 260,000 square feet to the body shop, upgrade the facility overall, and also implement a Metrology Center where quality will be put under a microscope by verifying key measurements to make sure fit-and-finish standards are being met.

The plan, announced in Ohio by Chrysler Chairman and CEO Sergio Marchionne, gets underway before the close of 2011, and the second shift will begin in late 2013. It's more evidence that Marchionne is having success shepherding Chrysler and all its brands back from the brink. The Liberty replacement will ride atop a platform shared with Fiat, and the vehicle will be exported worldwide. Read the full announcement posted after the jump for more info.

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Chrysler Group LLC Announces $1.7 Billion Investment for Next Generation Jeep® SUV; Plans to Add Second Shift of Production at its Toledo, Ohio, Complex

• Chrysler Group Chairman and CEO confirms future plans for Toledo Assembly Complex at event with Ohio Governor
• More than 1,100 jobs to be added on second shift in late 2013
• Investment includes $500 million to expand plant, adds body shop and upgrades at Toledo facility
• State-of-the-art Metrology Center part of expansion
• Announcement brings total U.S. investment to more than $4.5 billion since June 2009

Toledo, Ohio , Nov 16, 2011 - Chrysler Group LLC announced today that it will invest $1.7 billion to support the development and production of the next generation Jeep® SUV in 2013, including $500 million at the Toledo Assembly Complex (Ohio). As a result, the Company will add a second shift of production or about 1,100 jobs, bringing total employment at the complex to over 2,800.

Chrysler Group Chairman and CEO Sergio Marchionne, along with Ohio Governor John Kasich, U.S. Representative Marcy Kaptur, Toledo Mayor Mike Bell, UAW Regional Director Ken Lortz, and other local officials joined employees to celebrate the news.

Marchionne confirmed that the new Jeep D-segment SUV would be built in the Toledo facility for export to markets all over the world.

"Earlier this year, I promised that I would have good news to share about our Toledo operations, so I am pleased to be able to make this announcement, which further demonstrates our commitment to the special relationship that Chrysler and the City of Toledo have shared," said Marchionne. "Over many decades, Chrysler has become a part of this community's fabric. With this investment and the addition of more than a thousand jobs, we continue to play our part in contributing to the city's industrial and social development. Most importantly, this investment recognizes the support of the UAW and the role that our skilled and dedicated workforce has played in producing some of the finest, most recognized vehicles on the road today.

"I want to thank Governor Kasich and Mayor Bell for working with us to make the business case for this investment. I would also like to thank Congresswoman Kaptur and all of the federal, state and local officials for their ongoing support," said Marchionne.

The $500 million investment in the Toledo plant includes a 260,000-square-foot expansion of the existing body shop and upgrades to all other areas of the assembly plant. In addition, Chrysler will add a state-of-the-art, 26,000-square-foot Metrology Center, which will help improve vehicle quality by verifying key measurements to ensure accurate fit and finish. The remainder of the $1.7 billion will be invested in other Chrysler Group facilities in the U.S., supplier tooling and other related development costs.

Work on the plant will begin in the fourth quarter of 2011 and continue through 2012. The Toledo North Assembly Plant currently builds the Jeep Liberty and Dodge Nitro.

"This announcement continues the momentum that the Chrysler Group has experienced over the past 28 months," said General Holiefield, Vice President and Director of the UAW Chrysler Department. "Not only is the company continuing to invest in its facilities, but it is adding jobs and securing the future of our current workforce by demonstrating its commitment to the workers who have contributed to the Company's remarkable turnaround."

The second shift of production is scheduled to begin in the third quarter of 2013. When positions are available, they will be posted at www.chryslercareers.com, where applications can be submitted online. No applications will be accepted at the plant.

With today's announcement, Chrysler Group is planning to invest more than $4.5 billion in the U.S. and has made significant progress toward building a successful enterprise since June 2009, including:
• reporting net income of $212 million in the third quarter of 2011;
• reporting the 19th-consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains in October;
• planning to invest $165 million to add a new one million square-foot body shop to its Sterling Heights (Mich.) Assembly Plant;
• announcing a $72 million investment in the Toledo (Ohio) Machining Plant;
• confirming a $114 million investment to repurpose about one-fifth or nearly 400,000-square feet of the Trenton North Engine Plant for the production of core components for the Pentastar engine produced at Trenton South;
• investing nearly $1.3 billion into the Company's existing transmission manufacturing facilities in Kokomo, Ind., to accommodate production of a new advanced front-wheel drive automatic transmission; increase capacity and support production of the World Engine and improve processes for the 62TE transmission program; and accommodate future production of a new highly fuel-efficient eight-speed automatic transmission;
• announcing a $600 million investment in its Belvidere Assembly Plant;
• confirming an investment of $850 million in its Sterling Heights Assembly Plant and surrounding stamping facilities;
• planning an investment of $150 million in its GEMA (Dundee, Mich.) facility;
• announcing in December 2009 that it will invest $179 million to launch production of the 1.4-liter, 16-valve Fully Integrated Robotized Engine (FIRE) at the company's Global Engine Manufacturing Alliance (GEMA) plant in Dundee, Mich., creating more than 150 new Chrysler jobs;
• adding a second shift of production – or nearly 1,100 jobs – at its Jefferson North Assembly Plant in May 2010;
• adding nearly 900 jobs on a second shift at its Sterling Heights Assembly Plant in February 2011;
• launching the all-new 2011 Jeep® Grand Cherokee in May 2010;
• beginning production of the all-new Fiat 500, Dodge Durango, Chrysler 200 and Dodge Avenger in December 2010;
• starting production of the 2011 Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger and Dodge Challenger in January.
About the Toledo Assembly Complex
The Stickney Plant was built in 1942 and acquired from Autolite in 1964 for use as a machining and engine plant. In 1981, it was converted for vehicle production, building the Jeep® Grand Wagoneer until the summer of 1991. The facility became the Toledo Assembly Plant when Chrysler Corporation acquired American Motors Corporation (AMC) in August 1987.

In the fall of 1997, Toledo North Assembly Plant was built for the production of the Jeep Liberty, which launched in April 2001. The 2007 Dodge Nitro launched in August 2006 and the 2008 Jeep Liberty launched in July 2007. In 2005, the Toledo Supplier Park was built to include body, paint and chassis operations in partnership with Kuka, Magna and OMMC, respectively, in brand new buildings on the same site as Toledo North Assembly and the former Stickney Assembly with Chrysler handling the final assembly of all three major components for the Jeep Wrangler and Wrangler Unlimited. Production of the 2011 Jeep Wrangler began in August 2010. In the first quarter of 2011, Chrysler Group assumed responsibility for the paint operations, previously managed by Magna.

About Chrysler Group LLC
Chrysler Group LLC, formed in 2009 from a global strategic alliance with Fiat S.p.A., produces Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Ram, SRT, Fiat and Mopar vehicles and products. With the resources, technology and worldwide distribution network required to compete on a global scale, the alliance builds on Chrysler Group's culture of innovation, first established by Walter P. Chrysler in 1925, and Fiat's complementary technology that dates back to its founding in 1899.

Headquartered in Auburn Hills, Mich., Chrysler Group's product lineup features some of the world's most recognizable vehicles, including the Chrysler 300, Jeep Wrangler, Dodge Challenger and Ram 1500. Fiat contributes world-class technology, platforms and powertrains for small- and medium-size cars, allowing Chrysler Group to offer an expanded product line including environmentally friendly vehicles.


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  • 116 Comments
      guyverfanboy
      • 3 Years Ago
      Cool. Now how about them diesels?
        Snark
        • 3 Years Ago
        @guyverfanboy
        I'd love a diesel Patriot or Cherokee. But the thing is, they could barely give away diesel Liberty models. Subaru, Mazda, and Volkswagen have all done the math on selling diesel small crossovers in the US, and none of them have pulled the trigger. There's just not a business case for it. The number of people who'd actually pull the trigger on one is pretty small.
          wilkegm
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Snark
          The diesel Liberty sold twice as many units as originally planned, despite deep discounts on gasoline models at that time. Volkswagen decided that they make way too much money on Tiguan TDI 's in Germany to sell any allotment here. Mazda and Subaru currently don't have diesels in America, and would need to spend lots more money to do so. Fiat/Chrysler will have diesels here, so they may as well bring them across the board. The VM engine going in the WK2 Grand Cherokee would be great in anything from a 300 to a Ram2500.
          Mike D
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Snark
          "they could barely give away diesel Liberty models" Yeah... That's just not accurate at all. They doubled their expectations in sales.
      dmspeno
      • 3 Years Ago
      the article is about what Jeep is doing to mobve forward! WAKE UP, JUST BECAUSE YOU HAD A BAD EXPERIENCE, try getting over it and be happy they are successful and investing for the future!!! What a bunch of negative people...........
      greenz1977
      • 3 Years Ago
      We need a worthy successor to the Jeep Cherokee. That is all.
      rjinsac
      • 3 Years Ago
      Go JEEP Go, I've had a 2010 Dodge Nitro built in the same plant for 2 years and I've ZERO problems, take that and put it where the sun don't shine.
      Ryan
      • 3 Years Ago
      Sounds like they're doing things right. The Liberty was "ok" when it was released, and hasn't aged well at all. It certainly was never a worthy replacement for the Cherokee. I'm curious to see what direction they take with the Liberty replacement, as I highly doubt it will be reminiscent of the original Cherokee. While I love the real Cherokee, that isn't really the direction of the rest of that class of SUVs. Either way, it sounds like the plant will be renovated to closely control quality, which is excellent. Chrysler is movin on up!
      DM_kota
      • 3 Years Ago
      The return of the......CHEROKEE????
      mjzalucki
      • 3 Years Ago
      Yeah, they need to dump the Liberty name and bring back Cherokee. It doesns't make sense to have a "Grand" Cherokee when you don't offer a smaller Cherokee.
      Mr Clickerson
      • 3 Years Ago
      They need to produce a solid axle SUV like the Cherokee was. We've got the luxury Grand Cherokee and the Wrangler, but its a convertible without much interior space... A new Cherokee would be the best replacement for the Liberty.
        Snark
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Mr Clickerson
        The Wrangler Unlimited 4-door is all the solid-axle SUV Jeep needs to sell, and it's got a hard top available and plenty of interior room. Solid axles are good for offroading - that's it. Otherwise, they're ridiculous for use on regular streets and even on most easy and moderate offroad trails. I've explored hundreds of miles of back roads in my Grand Cherokee, which is plenty capable, and also drives great on the road due to its independent suspension. The old Cherokee was a great car - I've owned three - but they handle poorly and ride roughly. A new Cherokee needs to compete with the Forester, Outback, and other crossovers that can handle themselves offroad but also serve well as a good daily driver.
          Xedicon
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Snark
          Dear Snark, You are awesome for bringing so much love to the Cherokee! That is all. :)
      Teleny411
      • 3 Years Ago
      Cherokee!!! We've got 2 now and I love them!!!!!
      Bexarpaw
      • 3 Years Ago
      IF they had any brains at all they would get that new Jeep PU on the road......I must know 10 people who want one right now and it's still a concept car! That has always been a problem with Chrysler to get their ideas on the road while people still want to buy them, but I mean they never listened to the buying public anyhow!
        whdlsn
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Bexarpaw
        Make that 11 people, ME TOO! You're right, those look great!
      Darrell
      • 3 Years Ago
      I've had a JEEP LIBERTY and loved it. Cannot wait to see what they have in mind for a design. Hope they don't screw up a good (great) thing.
      Bill Burke
      • 3 Years Ago
      The Liberty is called "Cherokee" in Europe and on my visits to Europe they seem popular with buyers. The name change to Cherokee across the board makes sense. The Liberty has had a long and successful life span, but the replacement can't come too soon as the competition has improved and the class has evolved. The replacement would never consider moving back to a solid axle, but will instead modify a very modern and proven Fiat platform to create a "trail rated" true Jeep replacement. Jeep, as most automotive followers know, reciently had the highest quality/reliability rating of all American brands (JC Powers) and that position should continue to improve with the changes being made at Toledo. Jeep is the most marketable SUV brand world-wide, Chrysler knows it clearly and they will do everything necessary to build on that position within the vastly larger Fiat world-wide dealership network. Jeep sales have already picked up momentum in the global market and the new Cherokee and Compass replacements, along with a planned smaller Jeep model, should sell like hotcakes in these markets. Anyone who has owned a Jeep recognizes it's iconic appeal and it's unique position as the SUV namesake internationally. Given the success of the Wrangler and Grand Cherokee, the next generation Cherokee will undoubtably be the best mid-size SUV in the world, of this I have no doubt.
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