Marchionne Undecided on Toledo Wrangler Plant's Future

Aaron Cole
by Aaron Cole

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ top executive says he’s still not sure if Jeep’s Toledo plant will build the next-generation Wrangler, The Detroit Bureau is reporting.

In a move that may or may not be union-negotiations related, FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne said he expects to make a decision on where to build the new Wrangler by the end of the summer — or about the time negotiations wrap up.

At issue is the cost associated with shutting down and retooling the Toledo plant to build the new Wrangler, which will have significantly more aluminum, according to Marchionne. Jeep is selling more Wranglers now than they ever have and need the plant to build more cars.

“If I shut it down for 60 days, I’d lose more money than I’d make in a year,” Marchionne said.

In May, Marchionne specified that the Wrangler would not be wholly made with the alloy, opting instead to use aluminum for specific parts to cut down on weight and increase fuel economy.

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19 of 23 comments
  • PrincipalDan PrincipalDan on Jul 15, 2015

    Toledo without Jeep is like Flint without Buick. Oh, wait...

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    • Lorenzo Lorenzo on Jul 16, 2015

      @Superdessucke Aren't Jeeps already being assembled in Italy? That was Sergio's original plan, to sell Jeeps worldwide. I'll bet he's thinking of building the new Wrangler in Mexico so he can shut the Toledo plant for expansion, and then use the expansion for other, higher margin Jeep models and keep the Wrangler assembly in Mexico.

  • Turf3 Turf3 on Jul 15, 2015

    1) "a move that may or may not be union-negotiations related..." Well, that does pretty much cover the universe of possibilities. You might just as well say "a move that may or may not be related to Kepler's law of planetary dynamics" or "a move that may or may not be related to the manicure my wife got last week". Did you mean to say, "in a move that may be union-negotiations-related..."? 2) Of course the Wrangler will not be wholly made from aluminum. Things like tires, seat belts, and antifreeze would not work very well if they were made from aluminum.

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    • Turf3 Turf3 on Jul 15, 2015

      @Aaron Cole "The author shall: 1. Say what he is proposing to say, not merely come near it. 2. Use the right word, not its second cousin. 3. Eschew surplusage. 4. Not omit necessary details. 5. Avoid slovenliness of form. 6. Use good grammar. 7. Employ a simple and straightforward style." - M. Twain

  • OldandSlow OldandSlow on Jul 15, 2015

    The truth be told - the current Wrangler is produced by a consortium of vendors in what is known as the Toledo Supplier Park, which by the way is not wholly owned by FCA. Even with favorable local incentives and maxed out sales from this N.A. plant, I seriously doubt that FCA will build a new plant in the US or Canada while Sergio is at the helm. He needs the money to resurrect Alfa before he departs in 2018.

  • Big L from Chicago Big L from Chicago on Jul 15, 2015

    What is Sergio suppose to do, just roll over, the rules of Race to the Bottom must be followed to the end, hate the game not the player. And I think the aluminum will be the in the live axles, but the bodies will be plastic.

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    • Lorenzo Lorenzo on Jul 16, 2015

      @SlowMyke It will be a merger of unequals with the smaller company with the better reputation stealing cash from the larger and then selling the husk to a strip-and-flip investor group.