By on March 15, 2013

Hot sales of Jeep’s venerable Wrangler have led to Chrysler adding 200 new jobs at their Toledo, Ohio factory.

130 of the 200 workers will be assigned to relieve assembly line workers. The plant currently operates at two shifts, but cannot expand to a third shift due to capacity constraints. Nevertheless, Toledo produced over 200,000 Wranglers last year, a record for the plant. With a low base price and a true low-range transfer case, the Wrangler has a niche all to itself, and it’s unlikely that any manufacturer will challenge it with a competing vehicle any time soon. As long as that’s the case, its place in the auto market looks fairly secure.

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50 Comments on “Wrangler Demand Spurs 200 New Jobs At Toledo...”


  • avatar
    corntrollio

    Wut? Ah heard they were moving these jubs away from ‘Murracans to the Chinese.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    Now if only they would make the thing easier to fix!

    I’m talking clutch master/slave cylinder combo – or have they allowed repair/replacement w/o backing out the tranny and performing major surgery?

    Major reason we sold our 1992 YJ a few years ago.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      Pretty well every manual transmission vehicle seems to use a concentric slave cylinder these days. Good time to change the clutch!

      • 0 avatar
        cgjeep

        Had the same problem with the 91YJ. I owned it 4 years, and had to replace it twice. Use to keep brake fluid to top it off when it was just a slow leak. Had 02 TJ for 10 years was never an issue and I beat the hell out of it.

      • 0 avatar

        Why don’t they use mechanical clutch, I wonder? My final stick-shift car had a cable-actuated clutch, and it worked without service for 178k miles. The forces and travel on the pedal were quite good throughout. The same car was also made in RHD version on the same plant and that came with hydraulic clutch for some inexplicable reason.

    • 0 avatar
      Wheeljack

      Transmission hasn’t needed to be removed to replace the slave cylinder since the mid 1990’s. It simply bolts to the outside of the trans and pushes a fork, almost like an old fashioned cable or mechanical setup.

  • avatar
    cgjeep

    Yes, they made 200k in Toledo. But they sold 300k, 100k overseas. I wonder where the other 100k were made? Honest question, not being sarcastic. I doubt it was China. Jeep is building a factory in China though but they claim Wranglers won’t be made there.

    • 0 avatar
      golden2husky

      I hope not. I’d be really happy if all the Wrangler was exported from the US and had more presence in other countries. Don’t know why it is not more common…it certainly can compete in its segment…

  • avatar
    Joe K

    Not sure where you are getting those numbers. The release says 141,000 units sold in the USA and the rest sold world wide. They only make the Wranglers in Toledo.

    Jeeps that are going to be built in China will be for Chinese consumption as China has some fairly stiff import tarrifs.

    “The Jeep Compass also set a record with 103,321 units sold globally while the Patriot enjoyed its best sales year in the U.S. with 62,010 units moved. As for the Jeep Grand Cherokee, it moved 154,734 units stateside in 2012 on its way to its best annual total since 2005. Global Grand Cherokee sales landed at 223,196 units with the Wrangler following closely behind with 194,142 units sold. The Compass rounded out the top three with 103,321 units sold.”

    View & Read: http://blogs.automotive.com/jeep-sets-global-sales-record-in-2012-highest-total-since-1999-124059.html#ixzz2Ne2oxKQ8
    Follow us: @MyAutomotive on Twitter | Automotivecom on Facebook

    • 0 avatar
      cgjeep

      I got the sales figures from here:

      http://www.autoblog.com/2013/01/09/jeep-sets-all-time-sales-record-in-2012/

      Direct quote from above source: “While the Grand Cherokee led Jeep sales, the Wrangler posted record numbers both globally and within the US, moving 194,142 and 141,669 units in each market, respectively.”

      Perhaps they wrote it wrong (or I read it wrong) as I can’t find this figure elsewhere and i can’t find any record of them making Wranglers anywhere else but Toledo.

      Back in the day they made Grand Cherokees overseas so they could make wranglers elsewhere. My 91 Wrangler was made in Canada but they no longer do that.

      • 0 avatar
        cgjeep

        Okay I think I figured out the error from my above source. in the same blog/article they have a link to the actual Jeep press release. Here is the quote from the press release:
        “Jeep Wrangler enjoyed its best year ever both globally (194,142 units) and in the U.S. (141,669 units}.”

        If you read that without thinking it looks like they sold 194k+141k. But they sold 194k globally, 141k in the US and 53k globally.

      • 0 avatar
        corntrollio

        “Back in the day they made Grand Cherokees overseas”

        They still do. They make them in Venezuela. Historically, they’ve made them in Austria (Magna Steyr-produced), Argentina, and China, if I remember correctly.

        Jeep Wranglers have been made in China in the past (YJ and TJ, I think), and also Iran (this is since the old AMC days by Pars Khodro — they made CJs under license). I believe TJs were also made in the Philippines, and both TJs and JKs have been made in Egypt.

        • 0 avatar

          The original Jeep was built in Brazil too. By Wyllis noe less. Then by Ford. It was so succesful it spawned a Family. A kind of granddaddy to modern-day SUVs, the Rural and also a Jeep pick-up (called simply Jeep Pick Up).

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Actually the original Jeep was a cartoon character “Eugene the Jeep” featured in E.C. Segar’s “Popeye”, in 1936. In 1941, US soldiers were calling the brand new Willys GP the “Jeep” and the rest is history.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            It was orginally built by the American Bantam Car company. The US government, thought the small Bantam operation was too small to produce Jeeps in large quantities , so the contract was given to both Ford and Willys

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    No, no, no, Jeep Wranglers are built in China. Sheeze, everyone knows that.

  • avatar
    azmtbkr81

    Must be nice to have a near monopoly on an entire segment of the market. The Wrangler’s only real competitor, the FJ Cruiser, rates a measly 13,656 sold in the US in 2012.

    I realize that this is a smaller segment of the market but it certainly seems large enough to attract interest from other manufacturers.

    • 0 avatar
      Wheeljack

      The FJ may be the only other vehicle in the segment, but it’s really not a competent competitor. No removeable top, poor visbility and street-friendly IFS make it a poor value in comparison to a Wrangler and its capabilities. No wonder why it sells so poorly.

    • 0 avatar
      MRF 95 T-Bird

      The Nissan XTerra is also considered a competitor to the Wrangler and FJ. Don’t know how many they are selling these days since CUV’s have displaced SUV’s popularity.

  • avatar
    cgjeep

    Its one of the appeals of buying a Wrangler. Every other car there is, within reason, something better. Buy a Porsche someone has Ferrari, buy a Mercedes, someone has a Rolls. No matter how much money you have you can’t “better” the Wrangler and the entry price isn’t expensive.

    In 97 I bought a POS 91 Wrangler with 100k miles on it, dented fender, ripped top, ect for 4k. My friends had some really nice cars, one had an M3. When I would pull up to a party with the POS YJ and girls would say nice Jeep. They would always want to go for a ride in it. The M3 owner traded it in on a Land Rover Defender but nobody got it. I’ll admit that the Defender was cooler but without having one in front of you it was just too hard to explain. Everyone knew what a Wrangler was. Kept the Jeep for 4 years and sold it for 4k. I still miss the POS.

  • avatar
    AJ

    I’m not surprised that the JK is selling so well. There is nothing like owning a Wrangler. Soft top, hardtop, bikini top and of course no top at all. Doors on, doors off (two-door JKs or four-door), and not to mention there are so many options to modify it/ build it up.

    Plus it can take you places you wouldn’t take about anything else other then an ATV. Just a fun vehicle to own, even if it’s just a mall-crawler. (Although I highly recommend getting it dirty.)

  • avatar
    Mikein08

    I’ve owned 3 Jeeps, a ’71 bobtail Bronco, several Explorers and Rangers, a few 4wd pickups, and currently a Nissan Xterra. And I
    just love my Xterra. It was cheap to buy, rides very well on the
    highway (no Wrangler can say that), and it goes where I point it.
    No, I haven’t taken it on the Rubicon trail or out to the slickrock
    at Moab, but my testosterone has calmed down to a level where I no
    longer find that sort of thing either fun, necessary, or desirable.

    • 0 avatar
      Wheeljack

      Have you driven a current Wrangler Unlimited? They ride surprisingly well considering what they are capable of. Even my ’06 Rubicon Unlimited with 33″ tires is surprisingly comfortable on the highway – I’ve taken 3 trips in excess of 1300 miles in it and didn’t find it fatiguing at all. Better shocks and proper tire pressure make a huge difference.

    • 0 avatar

      If we look at the new vehicles, XTerra is about as expensive as Wrangler, if you want lockable differential. Both Toyota and Nissan nickel-and dime their customers. I do not remember details for XTerra options from my research, but for FJ I recall that it was required to get “convenience package” in order to get any capability. But Chrysler would be happy to sell you a Rubicon with manual windows if you want.

      Buying used is different, because resale values for JKs are insane. But the people working in Toledo get paid by sales of new vehicles.

    • 0 avatar
      azmtbkr81

      I really wanted to like my ’08 Xterra. On paper it was a great vehicle: 6 speed manual, electronic locker in the rear, powerful V6 engine, and only $25k brand new but after dealing with constant trips for the dealership for replacement timing chain guides, Bilstein shocks that leaked every 10k miles, and worse than V8 mileage I decided to get rid of it just before the warranty expired.

      It was fairly competent off-road once the stock tires were replaced but the rear suspension was much too soft, if I had kept the Xterra my first upgrade would have been a firmer rear leaf pack.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Two of the local principals drive Jeep Wranglers. Both women, both middle aged. One is on her second Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, lifted, 35in BFG All-Terrain tires. She is an outdoor enthusiast, has several dogs, and the Jeep is her only vehicle. If it wasn’t for the outdoor lifestyle I would say it made no sense for her – her commute is long and the Jeep has to be noisy and suck gas hard.

    The other is a total poseur vehicle. Two door, hard top, snorkel, aggressive tires, no lift and driven by a woman who would consider the grassy lot at the fairgrounds off-roading. She is an Assistant Principal and her boss drives a Ford Raptor that he refuses to get dirty. Perhaps she thinks she needs to compete with that?

    I am happy to see Toledo doing well. The city wasn’t far from where I grew up in Ohio farm country and I still mourn the demolition of the “Willys Overland” smokestacks that used to be such a great land mark.

    • 0 avatar

      I don’t think lift is all that necessary for many missions. The basic parameters, such as clearance, arrival/departure and ramp angles, on my Rubi are where moderately lifted jeeps used to be just a few years ago. Also, my wife already has trouble getting it and out.

  • avatar
    Hummer

    I’m happy for them the demand is up, but I’ll keep my Geared hubs ;)

    If for some reason I want the solids, well its IH scout time

  • avatar
    RobertRyan

    @Pete Zaitsev
    “On the other hand, .223 is banned and they keep talking abou Great Firewall of Australia (thank you, Telstra).”
    Please explain??? As an Australian Politician said.

  • avatar
    Les

    Good to hear, we’ve always loved our Jeeps out here in the rural backwoods of the US. Loved ’em. We love our Wranglers, our CJ5s and CJ7s, our Scramblers, our YJs…

    ..our Scouts, our Samurais, our Sidekicks and Trackers, we sure do love our ‘Jeeps’. ;)

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