Report: Toledo Plant Gains a Jeep Pickup, Loses a Cherokee
Automotive News is reporting that Jeep will produce a Wrangler-based pickup at its Toledo, Ohio plant and shift production of its Cherokee to another site.
The details were reported by the outlet as part of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ ongoing negotiations with the United Auto Workers union.
Officials from FCA didn’t comment on the report.
According to the story, FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne addressed the plan in vague details.
“We found a solution that accommodates a variety of other interests to us because of the way in which we can move some product around,” Marchionne told Automotive News. “It doesn’t take a rocket scientist (to know) that the only way I can move around the Wrangler is to move it into the other Toledo plant.”
Union officials said they would have liked to have kept Cherokee production in Ohio, however the plant’s unique supply structure, production requirements and Wrangler sales required Cherokee to move, according to the report.
Production of the Wrangler and its associated pickup could reach up to 350,000 units per year.
Dana is also located in Toledo.
Waiting with baited breath to see what comes of this. A quad cab, hard top wrangler pickup that I could put a cap on answers the biggest problem I have with the current JK-Unlimited: limited people and cargo space obstructed by the roll cage. With a 6spd manual, this would finally tip me away from serial-4Runner ownership.
Interesting. The Toledo Plant is actually two separate plants on the same site A North and a South Plant. The side that builds the Cherokee is actually older in history though the current plant was built from scratch for the liberty. The plant previously built the Wagoneer and friends. The south plant was built and owned by suppliers. Final assembly is done by Chrysler. This is where the wrangler is produced. Daimler-Chrysler had the suppliers build the plant to reduce cost. The previous wrangler plant and XJ plant down the street that had produced jeeps since world war 2 was demolished and the land sold. However, Chrysler only owns part of the south plant and is why they are capacity constrained. They could buy out the suppliers but that would be costly. My guess is the Cherokee moves to Illinois to be built in the plant that builds the dart, compass, and patriot. The dart is on the same platform and the other two are going away soon leaving room to product another vehicle.
Another thought, the rear suspension will have to be reworked on these, the easy answer to this is leaf springs, but then what's the likelyhood they would do that. As it stands now the Wrangler doesn't have enough payload and towing capabilities, beefing up the spring-over could mean hurting the capabilities or creating a harsher ride than the leaf springs would provide. But then again what would it look like if the wrangler had higher payload numbers than the Ram pickup?