Toledo, Ohio Mayor and Governor Speak with Marchionne About Next Wrangler
Local Government Confident About Keeping Production in Toledo
In the latest chapter of a saga we’re trying really, really hard not to call WranglerGate, Toledo, Ohio, Mayor D. Michael Collins and Ohio Governor John Kasich had a conference call with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne Sunday to discuss the next-generation Jeep Wrangler’s construction.
According to the Toledo’s The Blade, Mayor Collins and Gov. Kasich sought to clarify Marchionne’s comments last week that if the next-generation Wrangler were to be made from aluminum, it would be prohibitively expensive to retool the Toledo Supplier Park to build it.
A statement from the mayor’s office expressed confidence that any issues regarding the Wrangler’s construction in Toledo can be overcome. The statement credited the leadership of Marchionne for increasing the market’s demand for the Wrangler, but it also acknowledged the skills of Chrysler’s Toledo employees for meeting that demand.
Marchionne has not made any public announcement to confirm rumors about the next Jeep Wrangler, but sources close to the company say that the off-roader will definitely feature aluminum bodywork.
The Blade reported that Marchionne, Collins, and Kasich agreed to keep an open dialogue regarding the Wrangler’s future in Toledo, and Collins and Kasich would like to meet with Marchionne face to face. Collins sent a letter to the CEO on Thursday asking for such a meeting, and commissioners from Lucas County, seated in Toledo, sent similar letters Friday.
The Wrangler’s spiritual predecessors, the Jeep CJ-series and Willys-Overland MB military vehicles, were produced in Toledo starting in 1941. The CJ-series Jeeps remained in production in Toledo until the Wrangler replaced them for the 1987 model year. At that time, Chrysler Corporation moved Wrangler production to Ontario, but it was returned to Ohio in 1993, where it has remained ever since.
Source: The Blade