Jeep Confirms Liberty Replacement Will Arrive in 2013, Will Be Toledo-Built

Yes, Ohio; there will be a successor to the Jeep Liberty – and it will once again be built within your borders. Chrysler confirmed today that it’s investing $500 million into its Toledo North Assembly Plant to ready it for an all-new Jeep SUV in 2013.

That investment is largely tied to upgrading the existing Toledo North facility, which was opened in 1997 to handle production of the unibody KJ Liberty. Chrysler’s investment is hinged largely on expanding the body shop area by 260,000 square feet, and adding a 26,000 square-foot “Metrology Center” tasked with scrutinizing material dimensions to ensure precise vehicle fit and finish.

“This plant has been chosen to build the future Jeep SUV to replace the current Liberty that will be exported to markets all over the world,” said Chrysler Group CEO Sergio Marchionne at a press conference held within the plant. “This is part of a much larger $1.7 billion investment that will bring a new advanced architecture that will be the basis for the group’s next-generation sport utility vehicle beginning in 2013.”

Although the confirmation is likely seen by workers as good news, it isn’t altogether surprising. During the automaker’s massive business plan roll-out held in late 2009, Jeep’s product plan schedule hinted at a Liberty replacement to arrive in 2013. Chrysler said little else about the vehicle, although it confirmed the model would ride upon a new Fiat-based platform.

Still unclear is the fate of the Liberty’s twin, the Dodge Nitro. Although some executives – including Marchionne – saw potential in reinventing the funky SUV in the future, no decision has been made at this point. Dodge’s future product plan indicated a new model was “under consideration,” but nothing more. Production of the current model ends in December, and given Chrysler’s recent push to eliminate duplicate models from its brands (i.e. ending the Chrysler/Dodge minivan clones), we wouldn’t be surprised if the Nitro simply slithers quietly into the night.

Toledo North presently employs roughly 1800 workers, but Chrysler plans on adding a second shift of 1000 employees as part of this decision. Work on the plant will begin later this year, and last through much of 2012. The new jobs are expected to come on-line in the third quarter of 2013.

Source: Chrysler

Bill Bratt
Please don't make the 2013 Liberty into another "cookie cutter" crossover. I purchased my 2002 Liberty for 2 reasons - it enabled me to get into backroad fishing locations, and most importantly has 5000 # towing capacity which I need for my many boat travels. Most new crossovers are on car platforms and are limited to 3500# towing capacity or less. My 2002 Liberty has always done what I have asked, & I consider it almost a perfect vehicle for my needs - hate to think of replacing her if the new model is "messed-up" i.e. looses off road & towing capabilities.
Jeep, please make your vehicles TALLER !!! LandRover are very good at this. Even the humble Freelander is TALLER than a Grand Cherokee and with more ground clearance. 4x4's should be tall and look functional....there is nothing worse than being looked down on!

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