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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]
Given the current financial struggles plaguing many of the European Union member states, legislators are paying closer attention to aid granted for various programs. In the case of Germany, EU investigators have opened a probe regarding state funding supplied to automakers BMW and Volkswagen.
The former concerns aid of some EUR 46 million, granted to BMW for investment in its Leipzig, Saxony manufacturing facility (shown) where the company plans to produce Electric Vehicles.
In the case of Volkswagen, a grant of some EUR 83.7 million aimed at that company’s manufacturing facility in Zwickau, is under scrutiny.
In an official line from Brussels, the European Commission has stated, in relation to the funding that it “has doubts whether Germany’s suggestions for the definition of the relevant market… can be accepted.”
[Source: Just Auto]
These days, it’s difficult to say really. Ford Transit Connect? Built in Turkey and shipped to the US. Lincoln MKZ? Built in Mexico and shipped to the US. Dodge Charger and Chevrolet Camaro? Built in Canada.
On the flipside, a lot of ‘foreign’ cars have more US content than you might imagine. Mazda 6? Built in Michigan. Toyota Camry? built in Kentucky, or how about the Mitsubishi Eclipse, Toyota Tacoma or Toyota Tundra? In the case of these three, all of them are vehicles not only built here, but specifically designed and engineered for our market.
Start adding in specific components, i.e. German sourced engines from some GM cars and transmissions from Japan or Germany and it starts to get very, very confusing.
Well the American International Automobile Dealers’ Association hopes to clarify what exactly constitutes an American car by highlighting which ‘foreign’ automakers have a significant manufacturing and assembly process in the United States. This comes at a time where the issue of ‘buy American’ and protecting American jobs has become a politically hot topic.
The AIADA has created a website that enables the user to click through foreign automakers that have US manufacturing facilities, highlighting how many employees they have on the payroll and how long they’ve been established on American soil.
According to the AIADA’s own research, there are 21 ‘foreign’ automakers that build cars and trucks in the US that employ a total of 86, 507 workers. Click on the link below for more information – some of the findings might surprise you.
[Source: What is An American Car]