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Blade: Liberty stops August 16, Toledo upgrades

by David Zatz on

The Toledo Blade reported that the Jeep Liberty will stop production on August 16. Unlike the Dart launch, which took place even as Compass and Patriot continued production, the Liberty will stop months before its successor starts up.

The Blade noted that Dana and Faurecia will each cut 40 jobs when Liberty shuts down; these jobs will not be needed for the Liberty’s replacement (whose name has been the result of speculation, with both Liberty and Cherokee reportedly being considered). Faurecia lost its work to Johnson Controls, while Dana’s work will be taken over by Chrysler itself. Re-insourcing axles reflects a change in strategy; Daimler tended to prefer outsourcing whatever they could, while Fiat tends to prefer making parts internally.

The Toledo North plant is being shut down to allow for much higher capacity and flexibility; it could make five different models at once, and the Blade reported that it might be able to produce 450,000 vehicles per year. Analysts have speculated that the Journey might move to Toledo when it switches platforms, freeing Toluca, which makes Journeys and Fiat 500s, to make Alfa Romeos or other vehicles, such as small commercial vans, for sale in both North and South America. Toluca had made Neons and was the sole source for all PT Cruisers.

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