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Jeep Liberty production to end this month, successor to arrive in Q2 of 2013

by Drew Johnson

Following a short plant shutdown, the next-generation Jeep Liberty will arrive during the first half of 2013.

Chrysler will close its Toledo North factory on August 16 in preparation for the start of production of the next-generation Jeep Liberty. Chrysler has yet to announce when the factory will officially reopen, but the automaker plans to begin shipments of the Liberty successor during the second quarter of 2013.

First reported in June, the plant shutdown and Liberty upgrade will cost Chrysler a total of $1.7 billion. About $500 million of that investment will be used to update the plant's body shop as well as install a new metrology center that will be able to verify vehicle measurements. The metrology center should vastly improve the fit and finish and overall quality of the next-generation utility vehicle.

The plant will add 1,100 jobs to aid in production of the next-generation SUV, bringing the facility's total count to 2,800 employees, according to The Detroit News.

Jeep also produces the Wrangler and Wrangler Unlimited in Toledo, but the production of those vehicles will not be impacted by the plant closure.

Jeep has yet to show its Liberty replacement, but the next-generation vehicle is expected to debut at the Detroit auto show in January. Although the Liberty has been a relative success for Jeep, it remains unknown if the next version of the SUV will carry over the Liberty nameplate.