AUBURN HILLS, MI
- The Chrysler Group announced that the all-new 2007 Dodge Nitro will be built at the Chrysler Group's Toledo North Assembly Plant (TNAP) alongside the Jeep Liberty. This will be the first non-Jeep product to be built at the Toledo complex. The Toledo Complex is made up of the Toledo North Assembly and Toledo South Assembly, which has been building Jeep brand vehicles since the 1940s. Part of the total Dodge Nitro program investment of $600 million is being allocated directly to the plant for many upgrades that will make it ready to manage the complexity of building two different models on one production line. The plant is getting several expansions totaling more than 160,000 square feet. Other changes in the plant include new equipment including over 150 new robots, new conveyors, and new processes that will contribute to the plant's productivity and quality. Improvements at the plant help give it the capability to build pilot vehicles on the assembly line, which reduces waste and speeds time of development. Further improvements will also be made to body, trim, and paint operations. Process improvements such as new material handling operations and increased use of pre-assembled components will also contribute to improved productivity. The 2.10 million square foot Toledo North Assembly Plant occupies 200 acres and has more than 2,500 employees. Ground breaking of the new plant was in the fall 1997. Production of Jeep Liberty launched April 2001. An all-new South plant, which will begin building the replacement for the current Jeep Wrangler in the summer of 2006, replaces the current assembly site and will be operated by the Chrysler Group and three supplier/partners who will manage unprecedented levels of the manufacturing operation. This “supplier park” frees Chrysler Group capital to be invested in new product development.