For the global auto industry, 2012 has been a mixed bag, but it's been mostly nothing but good news for the Jeep brand, and especially the Wrangler, which has kept the Toledo, Ohio, plant humming along. The Detroit Free Press reports starting April 1, Chrysler will add 200 workers in Toledo, split between the assembly line and the paint shop. Most of the new hires, about 130, will be so-called "tag-relief" workers to keep the line production moving while the regular shift workers are on break. The other 70 new hires are being added to a third shift at the Wrangler paint shop.
Mobis North America, supplier for the Wrangler's chassis, plans on adding 50 workers to keep up with demand. The added workers at Chrysler and Mobis are expected to raise annual production capacity of the Wrangler by 16,000 units.
Fiat/Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne plans expansion of the Jeep brand into other markets with new subcompact models, and production of some models in China for local consumption, but has vowed to keep full production of the Wrangler in the U.S.
The Toledo production facility also includes a separate line that will build the upcoming 2014 Jeep Cherokee compact SUV beginning around May 2013.