By on July 15, 2015


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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23 Comments on “Marchionne Undecided on Toledo Wrangler Plant’s Future...”

  • avatar

    Just another Marchionne blackmail play. Toledo, pay my lost profits for the shutdown, or I’ll go somewhere else and waste money I don’t have building a new plant paid for by the local unfortunate citizenry only too glad for the jobs and my inimitable presence.

  • avatar

    Toledo without Jeep is like Flint without Buick.

    Oh, wait…

    • 0 avatar

      Wonder if we’ll ever see a Mexican built Jeep?

      • 0 avatar

        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.

    • 0 avatar

      Well. It would be bad, but not THAT bad.

      Buick City workforce topped out at 77,000 people! That’s just GM employees. Nevermind the service industry that existed because of those workers. 77,000!!!! That’s more than the population of Walnut Creek, Pleasanton, or Alameda. Now it’s 0. GM might as well set off a nuclear bomb on the way out.

      • 0 avatar

        I’m still mourning the loss of the “WILLYS” & “OVERLAND” smokestacks from Toledo. – Sigh, they should have been marked for historic preservation.

        • 0 avatar

          So should the Weather Ball that was on top of Citizens Bank’s, the bank that gave William Durant his first loan, Flint HQ. But, no. The bank that bought Citizens tore it down, destroyed it, and replaced it with their branded version.

          Jack White and Shinola own a Willys Overland building in Detroit. So you got that going for you…

          • 0 avatar

            Wow the “weather ball”

            I remember looking at that on dark winter mornings from the 3rd (bunkhouse) floor of the fraternity house back in the 1960s.

            When the weather ball is red, higher temperatures ahead
            When the weather ball is blue, lower temperature is due
            Yellow Light in weather ball means there’ll be no change at all.
            When colors blinks in agitation, there’s going to be precipitation.

            Thanks for the memory!

          • 0 avatar

            You got it! I worked at Citizens for a couple years during college, so I am familiar with the Weather Ball.

        • 0 avatar

          It would just be like the many Farmers Co op grain silos I see when I do a crossing of the great Midwest…harkens back to an era when local folks were organized and before BigAg took over the whole supply chain. A sad reminder of a day before a small group of moneychangers in some board room dictated business.

        • 0 avatar

          At least one of the smokestacks was preserved — the area around the old Jeep Parkway plant is now a new commercial-zoned supplier park for TNAP.

          Even if heaven-forbid the Wrangler goes, Jeep is still selling every Cherokee they can make. I agree with the “can’t show cards now” stance from Sergio right now.

      • 0 avatar

        Maybe the UAW should have petitioned for tariffs like the tire guys did.

  • avatar

    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.

    • 0 avatar
      Aaron Cole

      1) You’re very perceptive.
      2) See No. 1.

      • 0 avatar

        “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

  • avatar

    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.

  • avatar

    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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