Report: Chrysler May Expand Jeep, SUV Production in Toledo

Good news for the workforce of Toledo, Ohio: new reports suggest Chrysler may expand production of sport-utility vehicles within the city's limits, and as a result, it could create 1100 new jobs.

According to the Toledo Blade newspaper, Chrysler wants to invest $365 million to expand and improve the plant that builds the Jeep Liberty and Dodge Nitro SUVs. The automaker reportedly could create 1105 jobs when it adds a second shift to the plant. The Toledo North Plant that builds the Jeep Wrangler and Wrangler Unlimited could also see future investment, according to the report -- unsurprising, since the Wrangler is seeing renewed consumer interest both in North America and abroad, and executives are unwilling to shift export production away from Toledo.

The newspaper claims details of the plans are disclosed in documents filed in a tax city application, but Chrysler officials told the Blade it could not confirm the application’s details until a state incentive package is finalized. The automaker only offered the newspaper a statement saying:

“In January, 2011, Chrysler Group CEO Sergio Marchionne confirmed that the company was considering a possible investment in its Toledo Assembly Complex. As part of the process, Chrysler Group is working with state and local governments to secure incentives that would support the business case for such an investment. However, any decision to invest in the Toledo facility would be contingent upon final approval of state and local incentives and final acceptance of all agreements by the company.”

The expansion could be the first step toward adding production of more models to the complex – as many as seven models in five or six shifts between the two plants, according to the report. Many of the vehicles built at the Toledo Assembly Complex could be sent overseas either as rebadged Fiats, or with the Italian automaker’s help, to increase Jeep sales worldwide.

The updates to the complex, according to the tax application, are expected to be finished by 2013. The Toledo Blade reports that Chrysler will initially add 1050 production and 55 management jobs.

Source: Toledo Blade

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