A new generation Wrangler, a Wrangler ‘Classic’, and sharply increased production. That’s what Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) apparently has planned for Jeep fans in the near future.
And it’s quite possible the announced Jeep Pickup and diesel Wrangler may not be far behind either as the company continues its rebranding into mainly SUV and Truck vehicles.
According to a report from Automotive News, FCA is looking to retool its Toledo (OH) complex over the next year, adding a second ‘Wrangler-only’ assembly line, in an effort to expand capacity as its newest Wrangler enters the production phase.
The automaker hopes this will allow for a nearly 50 percent jump in production to around 350,000 Wranglers annually – the fastest release pace in Jeep’s 75-year history.
FCA sold more than 255,000 Wranglers in 2015 and the vehicle has posted 71 straight months of sales increases. The company projects increasing growth for 2016-17, especially outside the North American market.
Currently, the Toledo facility builds both the Wrangler and Cherokee for FCA. However, the Cherokee will move to another plant early in 2017 which will open the second assembly line for Wrangler.
While the newest Wrangler (JL) is expected to hit dealer lots in fall 2017, FCA also plans to continue building the current generation Wrangler (JK) until at least the first quarter of 2018. This Wrangler would likely be marketed as the ‘Wrangler Classic’ during the overlap.
Once the JK Wrangler ceases production, it is quite possible FCA will devote that line to building its Jeep Pickup and diesel Wrangler as both vehicles are expected to market sometime in 2018.
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