Almost 2,000,000 units sold,
It was 2,884,172 sold to be exact.
There may be some truth to the tooling used and the factory needing maintenance or repairs, because when they are going to have to spend a lot of money to keep a vehicle in production they most certainly will consider whether or not it is in their financial interests to do so. And yes the 4.0L inline six isn't the most efficient engine by today's standards, but....
I'll tell you why it was axed:
Some marketing guru at DC convinced them that the XJ was too outdated and lost its appeal among the soccermom crowd. In order to stay competitive in the auto industry they need a "new" vehicle that was more stylish. I know I've said it before, but it was at that point DC became a FOLLOWER of the market instead of a LEADER that the Jeep name was since World War II, including the introduction of the Cherokee XJ in 1984. Instead they told us the Cherokee was too "boxy" - they told us that what WE wanted was a cuter more roundish body like the other cute-utes, namely the Rav4 and likes that were popular at the time. Hence the Liberty. I will admit now that the Liberty probably isn't a bad vehicle at all although I've never driven one. But it certainly wasn't something new. It was just following what other auto makers were doing because DC felt they were losing out in that corner of the market.
But what REALLY pisses me off is after saying the XJ was too "boxy" and outdated, is after GM came out with their own very boxy H2 and then the H3, what does DC do? They decide round is not in, but boxy is where its at. So now they make the Commander - a very boxy vehicle to try and compete with the H3 look. Again they are FOLLOWERS not LEADERS in the market.
And now we also have the Patriot which they say should appeal to the "Cherokee" crowd. (Yeah right...) I think that could be an acknowledgment that they know they lost some loyalty and a certain segment of the market when they axed the XJ.