Jeep Update: Pickup Coming, Wrangler Built At Toledo, Cherokee Goes to MI or IL
Jeep Pickup Still in Works, Will Be Built in Toledo
Not since “Maximum” Bob Lutz has the automotive community had as much fun trying to parse the words of automotive executive as Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne. Known for his off-the-cuff and sometimes politically incorrect comments about developments within his own company and the broader automotive industry, he is beloved by automotive journalists and reporters for his uncommon candor but likely dreaded by his PR handlers who are foiled by his unpredictable comments. Larry Vellequette, Automotive News’ FCA specialist correspondent, who got an interview with the sometimes-elusive Marchionne, sheds some more light on what the future holds for FCA’s most popular brand.
Much to the relief of Toledoans, production of the Wrangler is staying at its historic home. However, production of the unibody Cherokee will likely be moved to another facility, with the leading candidates being Belvidere, Illinois, and Sterling Heights, Michigan, where the Dodge Dart and Chrysler 200 sedans are built, respectively. The Cherokee shares much of its basic underpinnings with the Alfa Giulietta-based Dart and 200. We also learn that although it wasn’t shown at FCA’s recent dealer meeting, a Jeep pickup is still in the works and will likely be built in Toledo. Switching Toledo to an all body-on-frame facility will also potentially allow Ram 1500 production to be moved there temporarily as the Warren, Michigan, plant is retooled for the new model, due in 2017 or 2018.
Source: Automotive News