Chrysler Prepares Toledo Factory for Next Generation Jeep SUV image

Chrysler decided to stop production at one of its Ohio plants this month and prepare for the next generation of Jeep SUVs.

On August 16th, Chrysler, majority owned by Fiat, will stop manufacturing its Jeep Liberty SUV and prepare the Toledo North plant to build a new sport-utility vehicle on a joint platform developed by Fiat and Chrysler. The US auto maker will invest $1.7 billion to expand and upgrade the Toledo assembly line.

“We have new product and a whole new shift, so our task is tall,” said Zach Leroux, the plant manager. “We have a tall challenge ahead of us.”

From the total of $1.7 billion to be invested in the facility, $500 million will be used to expand the body shop and to install a new metrology center that is used to check car measurements and improve the finish and fit of the components. Together with the expansion plan, 1,100 new jobs will be added, taking the employees’ number to 2,800.

On July 31st, Chrysler said it plans to reach a full-year profit of $1.5 billion, as it sees the US market having one of its best years since 2007. For the first half of 2012 Chrysler reported $909 million net income, from $254 million loss in the same period last year.