2008 Jeep Liberty launched in Toledo

TOLEDO -- It's in with the new for Chrysler, as the automaker took time out to celebrate production of the all-new 2008 Jeep Liberty.

"The previous Liberty did very well in the marketplace, we captured a segment of the mid-size SUV market that we wanted to attract, and this is the next step up. We've done some great things with the interior, great exterior execution," said Byron Green, Chrysler vice president of truck and activity vehicle assembly operations.

The exterior is longer and more angular than the original Liberty. It also comes with an industry-exclusive option feature called the "sky-slider," a full-length, open-canvas roof.

"The idea of being able to open the sun roof front to back is a real unique feature of this product, so it gives you all the open road feel you can get," said Frank Ewasyshyn, Chrysler executive vice president of manufacturing.

The roll-out ceremony was also an opportunity to celebrate the local workforce, giving their best effort to build a good product.

UAW Local 12 president, Bruce Baumhower said, "They are the stars of the show, along with this vehicle because this is them, this speaks volumes for them."

Pricing starts at under Twenty-one thousand dollars for the Liberty Sport 4x2 version, and under twenty-three thousand for the 4x4. The Liberty Limited starts at just over $25,000, and just under $27,000 for the 4x4.

The big question now is, will they sell?

Green added, "It's just a wonderful product and it's targeted exactly for the mid-size SUV market. It's a home run, I really believe that."

Posted by LS