Have any plans this weekend? How about a quick trip to Toledo, Ohio, for the dedication of the brand new $1.2 billion Jeep assembly plant? Here's the lowdown from The Toledo Blade:
DaimlerChrysler AGís U.S. unit will officially dedicate Toledo North Assembly Plant - the $750 million home of Jeepís newest offering, the Liberty - at a ceremony April 30.
Dieter Zetsche, the Chrysler groupís president and chief executive, and other automaker executives are to be present to acknowledge the Toledo communityís support for the new plant. Local and state economic-development officials put together a $280 million incentive package nearly four years ago in return for a $1.2 billion investment in the new and existing Jeep factories.
Production of sellable Libertys began last month at the Chrysler Drive factory, which adjoins the Toledo Jeep Assembly plant on Stickney Avenue. The all-new compact sport-utility vehicle is replacing the long-lived Cherokee and is expected on some dealership lots as early as this month.
For those of you who can't wait to get their hands on the all-new Jeep Liberty (I'm pretty sure Griff won't be first in line, based upon his relently postings in the Reader Reactions), word on the street (and in The Toledo Blade) is that they'll start showing up in dealer lots in early May. Here's a snippet:
Sellable Jeep Libertys have been rolling off their new Toledo assembly line for weeks and are expected to start arriving on dealership lots across the country this month or early next, sources say.
Although DaimlerChrysler AGís official position has been that the Chrysler Drive factory next to I-75 is still making prototypes, a top union official at the plant said yesterday sellable Libertys are being built. When the factory is at full, two-shift production, it is to produce about 800 of the vehicles a day.
The Chrysler unit of the German automaker reported to Automotive News, a Detroit trade publication, that it had 858 sellable Libertys in inventory by the end of March. And dealers expect to start getting models from a growing stockpile within weeks.
"We are making sellable vehicles," said Joe Depowski, United Auto Workers Local 12ís Jeep unit chairman. "We were ahead of target, which is very good."
Finally, how about this nomination for "Jeep Saleman of the Year" - it seems that Clifford Chrysler of Buffalo Grove, Illinois, sold an Illinois consumer a "brand-new" Jeep Cherokee that had actually been vandalized in the dealer's lot so much that it had to go to a body shop for repairs. Don't cry for the anonymous Illinois consumer, a jury recently awarded him $81,000 for his troubles. Check out the entire story at Yahoo! News.