Chrysler to invest $500 Million to build a new Fiat-based SUV for Jeep

Article by Christian Andrei, on November 18, 2011

Over the next year, Chrysler Group wants its Toledo North Assembly Plant to produce a new Fiat-based SUV for Jeep and its other vehicles. It will also have to add a second shift. To make this possible, Chrysler will invest $500 million. Chrysler is hopeful that Jeep will bring it to the international markets. Chrysler has access to Fiat's distribution capabilities in Europe and Latin America, which makes the process quicker.

Toledo North is the only assembly plant owned by Chrysler that has just one shift of workers. The extra shift means that Chrysler will hire 1,105 hourly and salaried workers at the plant, which produces the Jeep Liberty and Dodge Nitro SUVs.

The Nitro will end production in December. Documents submitted to the City of Toledo this year indicate that Chrysler will add around 300,000 square feet to its body shop and quality lab at the plant. Chrysler will make revisions to its body-in-white, trim chassis final, paint shop and material handling facilities. Toledo North assembles unibody vehicles.

Meanwhile, the attached Toledo Supplier Park makes the body-on-frame Jeep Wrangler and Wrangler Unlimited. These two plants, which are known as Chrysler's Toledo Assembly Complex, have the same unified management structure.

Chrysler applied for new air permits to expand the plant. The City approved an increase in its permitted capacity for Toledo North to up to 327,000 vehicles annually.

Last year, the plant rolled out 91,973 Liberty and Nitro units, about 61% lower than the record set in 2003 of 237,719 Libertys. This new Jeep SUV will be the replacement for the 2013 model year. It will be the first Chrysler vehicle to have a Fiat platform (named CUSW) that will underpin up to eight future compact- and mid-sized vehicles in North America. [source: ToledoBlade]

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