Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne said that the next generation Wrangler would be made in the home of the Jeep Wrangler, Toledo Ohio. But that might not be the case.
During the 2014 Paris Motor Show Marchionne again suggested that the New Wrangler may have an aluminum body to save weight and ultimately increase fuel economy. The next generation Ford F-150 will be an aluminum construction as manufacturers find ways to conform to tightening federal fuel economy regulations, and it seems that Jeep Wrangler will follow suit. Unfortunately an aluminum bodied Wrangler may mean a change to the long running manufacturing and birth place of Wranglers, Toledo. The Ohio plant could be cost prohibitive and may force manufacturing to the Michigan or Illinois.
According to The Detroit News ‘a source close to the situation’ said that “There is no intent to walk out of Toledo. We’re not going to adversely affect employment. The issue is what we’re going to build there.” While this is good news for the employees in Ohio, they are disappointed at the thought of building something other than Wranglers. President of Local 12 Bruce Baumhower said “We always though it was automatic we’d build the new one in 2018. The Jeep was invented here in Toledo during World War II and became a civilian Jeep after World War II. It’s just part of our DNA.”
The issue of where the new Jeep will be built is just one more thing for the Jeep community to keep an eye on. From the build material to the suspension and of course styling, the new Jeep promises to make waves. It seems that with every new generation there are purest who are disappointed in the changes and the domestication of the rough and tumble bare-necessities Jeep they loved, and there are the new Jeep owners who are more than happy to become part of the club. It’s yet to be determined which group will be the majority when this overhaul is complete, but we will be watching and impatiently waiting to see what Jeep brings us next.