Fiat Chrysler plans to keep Wrangler in Toledo

haven

Expedition Leader
Here's the Automotive News article that is the basis for the Toledo Blade article. Also included is the oft-repeated statement that the new Wrangler probably will be the base for a pickup model.

http://www.autonews.com/article/20150901/OEM01/150909993/jeep-wrangler-to-stay-in-toledo-cherokee-leaving-wrangler-based

Of interest is the announcement that Jeep Cherokee production will leave Toledo for another USA plant. The Cherokee is Jeep's best selling vehicle (by a few hundred units each month) over the Wrangler. The Wrangler will get space to expand production, possibly including a pickup. This points to Wrangler continuing to use a steel frame and separate body panels. A rebuild of the Toledo plant to accommodate a unibody or aluminum-intensive frame would be too costly and take too much time away from production.
 

OCD Overland

Explorer
The interesting bit to me is the apparent staging of the plant retrofits to minimize downtime - the Cherokee plant gets converted for the new Wrangler, so that production of the Wrangler can move there while the current Wrangler plant is converted for the new Ram. Then the current Ram plant gets retrofitted so that Ram production can move back there.

That leaves the current Wrangler plant set up for Ram production, which ties in nicely with the rumor that a Wrangler pickup would be based on the Ram frame. At least that seems to be what the article is implying.

Which makes one wonder if a Wrangler Africa might also fit on such a frame.

I suspect the Wrangler will indeed be aluminum, on a steel frame, and I actually wonder if the Ram will go that way as well. Ford showed that it can be done.
 
Last edited:

Recommended books for Overlanding

Jupiter's Travels in Camera: The photographic record of T...
by Ted Simon
From $139.15
Long Way Down: An Epic Journey by Motorcycle from Scotlan...
by Ewan McGregor, Charley Boorman
From $5.72
Tortillas to Totems (Every day an Adventure Book 4)
by Sam Manicom
From $9.99
Motorcycle Messengers 2: Tales from the Road by Writers w...
by Jeremy Kroeker, Ted Simon, Lois Pryce, Billy Ward,...
From $9.99
4WD Driving Skills: A Manual for On- and Off-Road Travel
by Vic Widman
From $17.27

Dan Grec

Expedition Leader
I suspect the Wrangler will indeed be aluminum, on a steel frame, and I actually wonder if the Ram will go that way as well. Ford showed that it can be done.
I think the fact that Wrangler is staying in it's current plant is proof that it won't go aluminum.

As Haven said above, it's been said numerous times that retro-fit of the current Wrangler plant to allow Aluminum is cost-prohibitive, and would require too much down time.

I think if it were going aluminum, it would be moving to a different plant.

-Dan
 

OCD Overland

Explorer
The first article makes it sound like they aren't moving Wrangler production, but the one Haven posted is quite clear that they are - Marchionne says that they must shuffle production from plant to plant to prevent having any downtime on either the Wrangler or Ram. They're moving the Cherokee line out to free up a production line which will in turn allow them to retool while continuing to produce.

That is, the Wrangler production is in fact moving, it's just going to the other Toledo line after they've moved the Cherokee and retooled. So essentially it's the opposite of what you're saying - they're taking the time to set up new production lines for the Wrangler, the new Ram and potentially the long wheelbase Wrangler (pickup).
 

Dan Grec

Expedition Leader
I think you missed the point of what Marchionne is saying - the fact that they must shuffle production from plant to plant to prevent having any downtime on either the Wrangler or Ram. They're moving the Cherokee line out to free up a production line which will in turn allow them to retool while continuing to produce.

That is, the Wrangler production is in fact moving, it's just going to the other Toledo line after they've moved the Cherokee and retooled. So essentially it's the opposite of what you're saying - they're taking the time to set up new production lines for the Wrangler, the new Ram and potentially the long wheelbase Wrangler (pickup).
Ah, thanks. Sorry I missed that. Very interesting.

-Dan
 

haven

Expedition Leader
Wrangler production depends on sub-assemblies provided by contractors. Magna Steyr, for example, runs the shop that paints the Wrangler bodies. Moving to a new plant outside Toledo would mean subcontractors would have to move, or incur shipping costs. Staying in Toledo means business as usual.

Moving the Cherokee to an as-yet unnamed plant somewhere in the upper midwest may signal a change from a steel unibody (today) to a unibody incorporating more aluminum.
 

justcuz

Explorer
For you guys that don't know the layout, some of the suppliers and the Cherokee plant are actually on the same property. It is bordered by Stickney Ave on the west, I believe Matzinger Rd on the north, I 75 on the east and I 475 on the south. The Cherokee plant would be like literally walking across the street. The 3 on site suppliers are on Stickney Ave. as I recall.
 
Top