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by Brett Davis

Chrysler is investing $500 million into its Toledo North production facility in the US. The plant will produce the new Fiat-based Jeep Cherokee under the Fiat-Chrysler alliance.

The injection is set to create 1105 new jobs at the plant, which currently builds the Jeep Liberty (called Cherokee in Australia) as well as the Dodge Nitro – a car that Fiat boss Sergio Marchionne previously said “should never have been built”. Nitro production will end in December.

The plant will build the new 2013 Jeep Cherokee based on the Fiat CUSW platform. This will be the first Jeep SUV to be based on a Fiat platform under the new company partnership. Marchionne said during an announcement at the plant,

“Earlier this year, I promised that I would have good news to share about our Toledo operations, so I am pleased to be able to make this announcement, which further demonstrates our commitment to the special relationship that Chrysler and the City of Toledo have shared.”

“This plant has been chosen to build the future Jeep SUV to replace the current Jeep Liberty that will be exported to markets all over the world.”

Marchionne says the new Cherokee will be a big step forward in technology over the outgoing Cherokee and the Jeep Grand Cherokee.

A near-80,000 square-metre expansion will take place at the plant thanks to the investment, creating a new body shop, quality lab, trim and chassis final and paint shop. The plant will also get a metrology centre to focus on fit and finish.




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