Liberty to Be Spun-off - to Dodge Brand?

Date 2004/6/1 0:00:00 | Topic: Liberty

For the first time, a Jeep product will be adapted for another nameplate
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Dodge will sell a compact SUV in two years built on the same platform as the Jeep Liberty.

Until now, the Chrysler group has not shared Jeep platforms.

The Dodge will have a different body style, says Nick Vuich, chairman of the Jeep unit of UAW Local 12 in Toledo, Ohio. "It will incorporate the look of a Dodge," Vuich says.

The company declined comment. But a company insider who didn't want to be named says the SUV will be shown at the Chicago Auto Show next February and go on sale in fall 2006.

"This is not a badge-engineered Jeep," the insider says. "These are two very different, very separate vehicles."

The Dodge is among four updated products the Chrysler group will build in its expanded Jeep assembly plant in Toledo, union officials say. Production of a redesigned Jeep Wrangler begins in May 2006.

Assembly of the Dodge SUV begins in August 2006. A re-engineered Jeep Liberty comes in the summer of 2007, and a Wrangler derivative follows in 2007 or 2008, Vuich says.

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