Chrysler investing $1.7B in Jeep Liberty replacement

hyde

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Autoblog said:
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.

FULL PRESS RELEASE:
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.


-Jeep via Autoblog
 

eyehatetofu

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My money is on it being a 4 cylinder, IFS, IRS, AWD grocery getter along the lines of the Honda CRV and other midsize car based SUV's. Ehhh, it was a good run.
 

hyde

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Only if they eliminate Compass and improve on Patriot and make Liberty the bottom of the line.
Otherwise it would really **** for Jeep to completely put all their eggs in Grand Cherokee basket. But if they learned anything from the great response they got on WK2, I am guessing they will come up with something pretty attractive.
 

Dave

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My money is on it being a 4 cylinder, IFS, IRS, AWD grocery getter along the lines of the Honda CRV and other midsize car based SUV's. Ehhh, it was a good run.

This is what I am afraid of also tofu. (hope they don't wreck it)

My next jeep will be a Wrangler for sure then.

---------

Hyde, I like the WK2 also. When I hit the Lotto I will get a Hemi WK2 and a Wrangler Rubi......the same day.....haha.

Dave
 

Shaggy

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Crazy. I hope they keep the liberty name plate. Not sure if they will do well if its has the fiat platform..
 

eyehatetofu

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Only if they eliminate Compass and improve on Patriot and make Liberty the bottom of the line.
Otherwise it would really **** for Jeep to completely put all their eggs in Grand Cherokee basket. But if they learned anything from the great response they got on WK2, I am guessing they will come up with something pretty attractive.

They are eliminating the Patriot from what I've read, and the Compass is staying as a mini-Grand Cherokee like it is now. Not looking good for the Lib. The only decent Jeep left is going to be the Wrangler. At least they improved that this year.
 

gtommec

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Crazy. I hope they keep the liberty name plate. Not sure if they will do well if its has the fiat platform..

I wish they never changed to the Liberty nameplate, they should have just left it Cherokee across the board. I read somewhere that the Cherokee nameplate may be coming back for this new Liberty...
 

Marlon_JB2

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Cherokee name MAY be coming back for the KL or UJ, whoever you want to believe. Both codenames are still floating around, we'll find out when it's actually released. The same situation occurred before the current Wrangler was released... TK was the rumor, ended up being JK... which itself should have been the next JJ... of which was NEVER released to the public.

Remember guys, a platform is just a set of dimensions, it has nothing to do with suspensions, direction of drivetrain, or anything of the sort although they are commonly shared.

... or is the JK the next generation JJ after all?

http://www.allpar.com/model/jeep/jj.html

This would explain why the JK looks um, nothing like the TJ! Those two look more related than the TJ and JK ever will!
 
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gtommec

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No. That was the XJ.

yes well I knew the XJ had french origins but according to The Standard Catalog of Jeep 1940-2003 so did the JJ

Beginning in 1989 Jeep and Renault worked together on a new small Jeep dubbed JJ (for Junior Jeep) which they expected to offer in several countries around the world.

I know I have seen this info in other places over the years as well and I remember one of the car rags talking about them back in 1990 or so.
 

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