Jeep Liberty Assembly in Toledo, Ohio to Lose Shift
Date 2008/1/16 8:25:18 | Topic: Liberty
|An interesting article over at Ohio.com indicates that the Toledo Jeep Assembly plant where they make the Jeep Liberty and Dodge Nitro will be losing their 3rd shift in the near future, with more changes to come.|
The article also talks about how Chrysler was a bit unprepared for the huge demand for the Wrangler Unlimited and the ongoing issues with the new Liberty's sky-slider roof.
Tom LaSorda and James Press, both vice chairman and president, said in separate interviews that the privately held auto firm views the Jeep brand as one of its greatest assets, and said the brand must be protected.
In a veiled reference to vehicles such as the Nitro, which is made on the same lines as the Liberty, Press said Chrysler officials will begin paring down the company's many model offerings and concentrating on the market segment where each brand is strongest.
Both the Nitro and Liberty are assembled at Toledo Jeep Assembly complex, which also makes the Wrangler in factories next door.
Both spoke during the media preview for the North American International Auto Show, which opens to the public Saturday in the Cobo Center in downtown Detroit. The show has more than 700 vehicles.
LaSorda said last year's introduction of the four-door version of the Wrangler, the Wrangler Unlimited, blew away sales expectations.
''Nobody expected it to be that explosive,'' he said, adding praise for the local work force and the unique ''supplier park'' model that the plant utilizes for the Wrangler. Outside supplier employees make the body and paint the vehicles, and Chrysler workers put it together.
He expects sales of the Liberty to expand in 2008 because of a wider roll-out of the Sky Slider sunroof, which workers said had some leakage problems initially.