Chrysler Group has revealed a $1.7 billion investment that’s for the development and production of the next-generation Jeep sport-utility vehicle a.k.a. Jeep Liberty successor, which will debut in 2013. The Jeep SUV will use a broader platform that’s based on the Alfa Romeo Giulietta, which is a car produced by Fiat S.p.A. that will also underpin Chrysler's upcoming car and sedan range.
Chrysler's turnaround plan relies on this joint platform. Chrysler is hoping that the fusion of the operations of Fiat and Chrysler would reduce costs and widen their reach globally.
Chrysler's Jeep plant in Toledo will assemble the first Jeep SUV using this platform, which will be exported throughout the world by 2013. The Toledo plant presently produces the Jeep Liberty and Dodge Nitro.
Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne said that four different models may use the Jeep SUV platform. Marchionne said that the $1.7 billion investment may seem too high for just one vehicle but he said that this money is well spent since the company will ensure that the architecture is flexible enough so that it could be used on other models
. Included in this investment is a $500 million cost to expand the Jeep plant in Toledo, where Chrysler will create 1,100 jobs and add a second shift in 2013 to produce the new Jeep SUV.
Chrysler will expand the body shop and will be putting up a 26,000 square foot metrology center, where the plant will keep track of the dimensions of vehicles being built to check for fit and finish defects. Chrysler will use the remaining $1.2 billion for its other U.S. plants and suppliers as well as other costs.
Since its launch in 2002, the Jeep Liberty reigns supreme in the mid-size SUV market. The famous SUV delivers off-road capability and performance that you can’t find anywhere else. For 2008, the Jeep Liberty brings in more variants in the lineup. Aside from the classic 4X4, the brand now offers the all-new Selec-Trac, Command Trac and the two Jeep Trail Rated FWD systems.
Meanwhile, the new independent front suspension has enhanced the Jeep’s ride and handling performances. It also has the new rack-and-pinion steering and five-link rear suspension for better road stability.
Just like the classic SUV brand model, the Jeep Liberty’s redesigned exterior comes out with a more rugged appearance. On the other hand, the improved seat comfort and maximized storage space make up the new interiors. Also for the first time, Jeep comes out with the new fully-open Sky Slider roof for a distinctly Jeep “open air” feeling.
The two models for the SUV include the Jeep Liberty Limited and the Jeep Liberty Sport. All Liberty models come with the brand’s increasing list of features. Among these are the remote start function, express up/down windows, mirrors, memory seats and rain-sensing wipers.
George Murphy (Chrysler Group’s SVP) declared that the all-new 2008 Jeep Liberty stays ahead of its competitors. For one, the Liberty not only has one but two FWD systems. Then it also has better cargo and utility plus the newly enhanced “on-road” ride-and-handling technologies that aren’t always available in other SUVs.