For some, it’s been a long time coming, especially as the current Liberty, despite a fairly recent refresh, is one of the oldest vehicles in the Jeep, or for that matter Chrysler portfolio.
Nonetheless, next week, CEO Sergio Marchionne plans to make an announcement on November 16 while touring the Toledo North assembly complex where the current model is built. It’s perhaps quite timely, for the plant is scheduled to build the last examples of the Liberty’s Dodge counterpart, the Nitro, next month.
The next generation Liberty will most likely be built off Fiat’s new CUSW architecture, which will underpin a number of next generation Chrysler group small and mid-size cars and SUVs. The current car is based on a traditional SUV platform suitable for the kind of hardcore off-roading that Jeep buyers expect, so a car-based platform would be a substantial break from the norm.
There’s also a possibility the name could revert to Cherokee (which current Liberty models are labeled in overseas markets). At present other details are scarce; nonetheless Chrysler is attempting to reassure local workers, along with state and local governments, that Toledo does indeed have a future, having declared that it plans to invest some $365 million in the facility, as well as creating 1,105 jobs to produce the next generation Liberty.
In the meantime, despite its age, the current model is still doing reasonably well in terms of sales, as orders are up some 34 percent through October this year.
[Source: Automotive News]