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Published: Thursday, 5/21/2009

3 Toledo-made SUVs tops in buyers survey

BLADE STAFF

A prestigious California-based automotive research firm has given top awards to three Toledo-made SUVs in its annual survey of customer satisfaction and recommendations to other consumers.

The Jeep Wrangler was named the most highly recommended compact sport-utility/off-road vehicle, while the Dodge Nitro won the same award in the mid-sized SUV category.

The Toledo-made vehicles were the only two from Chrysler LLC to win a respective category in AutoPacific's annual survey of more than 25,000 new-car owners who purchased or leased new cars or light trucks between September to December, 2008.

Meanwhile, the Jeep Liberty took top honors in customer satisfaction among new owners of midsized SUVs in AutoPacific's annual survey.

"I think what this shows is all the hard work and the improvements we've made on quality and workmanship and making good products are starting to pay off," said Dan Henneman, Jeep unit chairman for United Auto Workers Local 12.

The only non-Toledo-built Chrysler vehicle to be recognized by AutoPacific's survey was the redesigned 2009 Dodge Ram, which won the customer satisfaction survey in the large pickup category.

The awards from AutoPacific come as all of Chrysler's local hourly workers are in the midst of a multiweek layoff that began the day after the automaker filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.



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