Chrysler Group LLC will temporarily stop operations at one of its Ohio factories this month to prepare for the next generation of Jeep sports utility vehicles. Toledo North plant manager Zach Leroux said that Chrysler will terminate the assembly of its Jeep Liberty SUV on Aug. 16, 2012. Chrysler will then refurbish the plant to build a new SUV on a joint platform developed by Chrysler and Fiat.
In November 2012, Chrysler announced it will spend $1.7 billion, add a second shift, and employ more than 1,100 people in its Toledo plant to build the new SUV. The Toledo factory has been operating on a single-shift schedule for three years, according to Leroux. The Jeep SUV will be built on a broader platform based on the Alfa Romeo Giulietta, a car built by Fiat.
The same platform will also underpin Chrysler's new car and sedan lineup. This joint platform is a vital part of the plans of Fiat chief executive Sergio Marchionne's combine Fiat and Chrysler operations to reduce costs and expand the companies' reach around the world.