DaimlerChrysler AG said Thursday it will end production of its venerable Jeep Cherokee sport utility vehicle later this year as it ramps up production of the new Jeep Liberty small SUV.
While the Liberty had been billed at one point as a Cherokee replacement, DaimlerChrysler had said it would sell the two side by side and would continue building the Cherokee as long as there was demand.
But the Cherokee - whose basic design dates back to 1984 - had begun to show its age. Last year, the company sold 141,457 Cherokees, a 14 percent decline from 1999.
DaimlerChrysler said Cherokee workers at the company's Parkway Assembly Plant in Toledo, Ohio, would be transferred to a new $1.2 billion plant the company has built for the Liberty nearby.
The Cherokee was one of the first medium-sized SUVs and helped ignite the SUV boom of the 1990s.
The Liberty will be unveiled at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
This is a sad day for Jeepers.