Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), announced at the end of last weel that they are investing over one billion US dollars to retool and improve the production process for the Jeep Wrangler at the Toledo factory in Ohio and another plant in Illinois.
FCA is investing $700 million to make over the Toledo North factory to build the next-generation Wrangler, a vehicle eagerly awaited by enthusiasts. FCA said this would add about 700 new jobs to the site. The Wrangler factory is part of a multi site complex in Ohio, and FCA said an announcement about the South factory would come later.
Nearly two years ago, FCA chief executive Sergio Marchionne caused a fuss by suggesting the Wrangler could leave Toledo, though plans to keep the iconic Jeep there quickly followed. Automotive News reported that the new Wrangler will use some aluminum elements, run a turbo four-cylinder engine, and offer an heavy oil option. Designers will also pay more attention to aerodynamics, though maintain the Wrangler’s famous appearance. Additionally the automaker reportedly plans to build the Wrangler pickup in Toledo.
The 450,000 vehicle threshold could potentially break down into 350,000 traditional Wrangler models, along with another 100,000 Wrangler based pickup. When the current Toledo plant was opened in 2005 Chrysler said its capacity was about 150,000 vehicles per year. Since then, that figure has increased to about 240,000 Wranglers per annum, and Jeep has no problem selling them.