Chrysler to Build 500,000 Cherokees Annually in Toledo image

Chrysler plans to manufacture 500,000 Jeeps annually in Toledo.

The Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority plans to next month to break ground on Overland Industrial Park, which is a site of 111 acres where Willys-Overland Motors operated for decades. Between 1888 and 2006 the property has been Toledo Jeep’s auto manufacturing hub.

“That is the historic home for all of the Jeeps that have been built since the early 1900s,” said Matthew Sapara, chief operating officer of the port authority.

The port authority paid $95,000 in 2010 for a 111-acre site from Old Carco Liquidation Trust, the company which holds Chrysler’s assets since July 2009 when the automaker emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Toledo city and a private company plan to construct here 6 buildings with a manufacturing space of 650,000 square feet.

Chrysler announced it will add 200 new jobs to build its Wranglers and 1,105 more when it starts manufacturing the all-new Jeep Cherokee. This will help Toledo attract automotive suppliers, and hopefully some of them will locate in the industrial park. Chrysler will launch the Jeep Cherokee and will employ 1,900 workers at Toledo North by fall. The US automaker hopes to sell more Cherokees annually, than the 75,000 Liberty SUVs sold in the States in 2012.

“We are going to build almost half-a-million cars a year here in Toledo,” said Bruce Baumhower, president of UAW Local 12. “We are going to do 220,000 with the Wrangler and we are going to do 250,000 on the Cherokee side.”