North Toledo plant closing, County Commissioner optimistic

TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) - Auto giant Chrysler is gearing up to permanently halt production on the Jeep Liberty on August 16 to replace it with something new, ending work for about 80 employees.

Chrysler has not released the name and plans for their new vehicle, but one thing that is clear: the local entities for Faurceia and Dana Holding Corporations won't be filling the orders for parts.

Plant employees were not signed on to make parts needed for the Jeeps new mystery vehicle, which is set to be manufactured in Toledo in 2013. Although the job loss seems like a swift blow, county officials say it's just a bump in the road.

"We're going back to the legend town that we were as advanced automakers," says Lucas County Commissioner Pete Gerken.

Dana will be forced to close its Matzinger Road location, because it was opened to provide parts for the Liberty and the Nitro.

Gerken says there are at least 1,100 jobs slated to roll in at the plant itself, and more coming on the heels of that:

"There's probably twice that many in supplier sides to do that.  So we think maybe next year about this time there could be additional 3,000 opportunities."

According to the Toledo Blade, Johnson Controls is one of the suppliers that will pick up 100 new positions at its Northwood facility.  Gerken says it is his mission to make sure that the employers that will be coming in hire hard working locals:

"This is the home of the jeep.  The people here have it in their DNA, um the reason they get great product out of here is because the people who live here and work here take pride."

Copyright 2012 Toledo News Now. All rights reserved.