By on February 17, 2017

Jeep Wranglers Coming Down The Line In Toledo

To get its Toledo Assembly Complex ready for the all-new 2018 Jeep Wrangler, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles needs to go dark for a little while, meaning extended vacays for thousands of employees.

The proper term would be “temporary layoff,” but in an autoworker’s life, a job you know you can go back to makes these hassles forgivable. In this case, Toledo needs six months to retool.

According to The Toledo Blade, the last day of production of the Jeep Cherokee is April 7, after which the unibody SUV moves to a new home in Belvidere, Illinois. The Cherokee’s assembly line will then be converted to body-on-frame production.

Between unemployment insurance and FCA unemployment benefits, laid-off workers should be able to replace almost all of their take-home pay. The automaker claims all workers will return, and 700 more will be added, when the line reopens.

Production of the Wrangler and Wrangler Unlimited will continue uninterrupted. In December, Bruce Baumhower, president of United Auto Workers Local 12, told The Blade that production of the 2018 Wrangler will begin in November. Pre-production models should appear “much earlier.”

Baumhower claimed the current-generation Wranglers will cease production in March 2018. After that, the old line will convert to production of the next-generation Wrangler pickup.

[Image: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles]

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11 Comments on “Fiat Chrysler Announces 3,200 Extended Vacations in Toledo...”

  • avatar

    If JL production begins in November 2017, and JK production ends in March 2018, what’s going on with JK’s produced after November 2017? Wrangler Classic?

  • avatar

    ” The Cherokee’s assembly line will then be converted to body-on-frame production.”

    Very interesting

  • avatar

    Who in the hell says “vacays”?
    What journalism school did the author go to?

    More informative might be how a many day supply of all Jeeps, might be a better clue, as to how long it should really take.

    • 0 avatar

      “Who in the hell says “vacays”?
      What journalism school did the author go to?”

      Well to be fair, English is an ever-evolving language. “Vacays” grates on me, too, but that’s what you get from more than a decade of SMS typing, I suppose :)

      On topic:

      Manufacturing must be the last great bastion of worker protection like this, no? There can’t be many industries left where you can be laid off for six months and essentially not notice because your income is covered. I know in Canada we have a similar configuration for Seasonal workers, but it’s certainly not “almost all” your income back.

      • 0 avatar

        No kidding. Add to that if you and your spouse are anything more than minimum wage, more than a couple months of EI in Canada results in 30% of it having to be paid back at tax time.
        Welcome to seasonal worker hell when your wife barely makes more than minimum wage and the family relies on you to pay the mortgage. Sad part is they count her income towards when you have to start paying back, so if you’re single you can actually make more before the pain sets in…

  • avatar

    In about ten years Chrysler employees will be on a permanent vacation.

    • 0 avatar

      It’s FIAT-Chrysler, and don’t worry, Sergio will have found a buyer/merger-partner before he leaves in a few years. Either that or the company will be parted out with spin-offs/sales of divisions, like they did with Ferrari.

      Ram trucks, Jeep, and the minivans will have the most value, with Fiat’s European and Brazilian facilites also salable. Even Chrysler’s old Auburn Hills headquarters on 500 acres was designed to be eventually converted to a real estate development.

      The trick is getting the buyers to assume a chunk of FCA’s accumulated bond debt, which is three times FCA’s market capitalization.

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