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2014 Jeep Liberty to ride on front-wheel drive platform - report

 2014 Jeep Liberty to ride on front-wheel drive platform - report
2011 Jeep Liberty Jet 17.11.2010

Promises to be more car-like

Chrysler has announced plans to invest $1.7 (€1.2) billion to build the next-generation Jeep Liberty in Toledo, Ohio.

Set to be launched in 2013, as a 2014 model, the redesigned crossover will reportedly ride on a front-wheel drive platform that promises to deliver a more car-like driving experience. This won't please off-road enthusiasts, but all-wheel drive should be optional.

Engine options remain a mystery, but Car & Driver says choices could include a 1.8-liter four-cylinder, an upgraded 2.4-liter four-cylinder and a 3.6-liter Pentastar V6.

Regardless of the final specifications, the 2014 Liberty will be exported globally and is slated to feature a high quality interior with more accurate fit and finish.

Source: Chrysler and Car & Driver

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

November 16, 2011 , Toledo, Ohio - 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.

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Comments (6)

 PAA PAA
A couple of weeks ago there was an uproar about the front wheel Cadillac but a front wheel drive Jeep is a joke.
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November 22, 2011 12:23 am
 mhectorgato mhectorgato
So is a 4 cylinder front wheel drive Jeep "trail rated"?
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November 21, 2011 8:01 pm
 autoficianado autoficianado
I think if Jeep is to survive it needs to follow a similiar plan as SUV maker Range Rover. Not every vehicle needs to be able to climb mountains. Most people never take their SUVs off road anyway, the most treacherous ground they cover is a snowy driveway or a potholed street. The weight and cost of the 4 wheel drive system is not to be ignored and a fwd/awd system would give most buyers what they need as far as capability while being lighter, less complicated and fuel saving. Jeep needs to hype up the "Jeep" attitude (think Gladiator concept) for the Liberty with AWD as the preferred option and let it compete against the RR Evoque. They also need to differentiate the new Grand Wagoneer from the Grand Cherokee and upgrade interior materials for a flagship model.
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November 21, 2011 1:37 pm
 SnakesInMyPants SnakesInMyPants
Fail Wheel Drive
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November 21, 2011 11:35 am
 Xjpro Xjpro
With so many car alternatives as the ones found in US market, why would Chrysler want to make a Jeep feel and drive like a car? This looks like a complete "fail" to me!!
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November 21, 2011 11:10 am