Toledo Reacts to News That Next Wrangler May Be Built Elsewhere
CEO Says Retooling Plant Could Be Too Expensive
Rumor has it that Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) has some big changes in store for the next Jeep Wrangler, including a new home. According to Automotive News, the company’s CEO Sergio Marchionne hinted that the next Wrangler might not be built in Toledo, Ohio, its birthplace since 1993. This would be the case especially if the Wrangler is assembled from aluminum, as the rumors say.
“If the solution is aluminum, then I think, unfortunately, that Toledo is the wrong place, the wrong setup to try and build a Wrangler,” Marchionne said, adding that retooling the plant for aluminum construction would be prohibitively expensive. However, the CEO emphasized that new products could be built at the company’s plant in Toledo, minimizing any impact on plant employment.
Bruce Baumhower, a UAW representative at Chrysler’s Toledo Assembly Complex, wants the Wrangler to stay in Toledo. He said that the plant employees and commnity have done everything they can to meet the high demand the Wrangler, and it would be unacceptable to move its production anywhere else.
For the record, the Wrangler was actually assembled in Brampton, Ontario, from 1987 to 1992. However, the Wrangler's predecessors, Jeep's CJ SUVs, were built in Toledo from the time they debuted in the 1940s.. Chrysler brought construction of the off-roader back to Toledo in 1993.
Marchionne says that no decisions have been made regarding the next-generation Wrangler’s construction, but according to Automotive News, a source within FCA with direct knowledge says that the next Wrangler will be assembled with an aluminum body.
What do you think? Should the Wrangler be made from aluminum, and if so, should FCA retool the Toledo plant so it can keep production of the Wrangler in Ohio? Have your say in the comments.
Source: Automotive News