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Chrysler announces Toledo investments

by David Zatz on

Chrysler will invest $1.7 billion to build the next Jeep® SUV in 2013, according to announcements made today in Toledo, Ohio. A $500 million upgrade of the Toledo Assembly Complex (Ohio) will add a second shift of production, or about 1,100 jobs, bringing total employment at the complex to over 2,800. This is not a new Wrangler, but a replacement for the current Jeep Liberty, which will be built in Toledo and exported across the world.

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.

The Toledo plant will get a 260,000-square-foot expansion of the body shop and a state-of-the-art, 26,000-square-foot Metrology Center, which will help improve quality by verifying key measurements. 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 2011 and continue into 2012. The second shift will not begin until the third quarter of 2013; applicants should not visit the plant, but instead go to www.chryslercareers.com.

Chrysler has announced plans for over $4.5 billion in United States investments since June 2009.

The plant is on the site of the old Stickney Plant, built by Autolite in 1942. AMC purchased it in 1964 and used it to machine and build engines until 1981, when it was converted for production of the Jeep® Grand Wagoneer. It was renamed the Toledo Assembly Plant when Chrysler Corporation acquired American Motors Corporation (AMC) in August 1987, and continued making Grand Wagoneers through 1991.

In the fall of 1997, Toledo North Assembly Plant was built for the production of the Jeep Liberty, which launched in April 2001. The 2007 Dodge Nitro launched in August 2006 and the 2008 Jeep Liberty launched in July 2007. In 2005, the Toledo Supplier Park was built to include body, paint and chassis operations in partnership with Kuka, Magna and OMMC in new buildings on the same site as Toledo North Assembly and the former Stickney Assembly with Chrysler handling the final assembly of all three major components for the Jeep Wrangler and Wrangler Unlimited. Production of the 2011 Jeep Wrangler began in August 2010. In the first quarter of 2011, Chrysler Group assumed responsibility for the paint operations, previously managed by Magna.

Allpar’s coverage of the event will be posted later today or tomorrow. See Allpar’s page on the Toledo Assembly Plant.

David Zatz founded Allpar in 1998 (based on a site he had begun in 1993-94), after years of writing reviews for retail trades. He has been quoted by the New York Times, the Daily Telegraph, the Detroit News, and USA Today. Before making Allpar a full-time career, he was a consultant in organizational psychology. You can reach him by using our contact form (much preferred) or by calling (313) 766-2304

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