For those of you who have followed the KJ saga with us over the past 2 years, today is a milestone day. DaimlerChrysler has announced that the former "next-generation Cherokee" is not going to be a Cherokee at all - it will be called the Jeep Liberty. From Yahoo! News:
DaimlerChrysler said Tuesday it will make room in its garage for a fourth Jeep sport utility vehicle when it introduces the Liberty next summer.
The vehicle, originally thought to be the replacement for the aging Jeep Cherokee mid-sized SUV, will instead augment a lineup that also includes the Grand Cherokee and Wrangler SUVs, the German automaker said.
``Liberty will very appropriately join Grand Cherokee, Cherokee and Wrangler in arguably the industry's most prestigious sport utility lineup,'' Tom Marinelli, head of global Jeep marketing, said in a statement.
The vehicle will be built at an all-new plant DaimlerChrysler built in Toledo, Ohio, where it currently assembles the Cherokee and Wrangler in existing factories.
And here's the press release from DaimlerChrysler...
Today Jeep proudly announces that the all-new 2002 Jeep -- to be produced in the Spring of 2001 and available in dealerships this summer -- will be named Liberty.
"It's an epic industry event when an all-new Jeep is introduced, let alone one being added to the legendary Jeep lineup," said Tom Marinelli, Vice President Chrysler/Jeep Division Global Brand Center, DaimlerChrysler Corporation. "Liberty will very appropriately join Grand Cherokee, Cherokee and Wrangler in arguably the industry's most prestigious sport utility lineup."
Liberty is what Jeep is all about -- the freedom to go anywhere and do anything. It is an attribute that closely mirrors the Jeep brand's core values.
The Jeep-engineered Liberty will be produced at the all-new state-of-the-art Toledo (Ohio) North Assembly Plant, located across the street from the original plant where the company currently churns out Cherokees and Wranglers for worldwide consumption.
"Jeep engineers are hard at work putting the finishing touches on what is going to be a great new Jeep vehicle being built in the shadow of where it all started 60 years ago," said Craig Love, Vice President Jeep Platform Engineering, DaimlerChrysler Corporation.
Now all we need is an actual picture...