Jeep’s world is changing thanks to stringent new federal fuel economy standards. Love it or hate it, in order to keep up with our country’s demand for fuel efficient vehicles, the Jeep Wrangler needs to make some big changes. Michigan just might benefit from what would be a major loss to Toledo, Ohio – the relocation of Jeep Wrangler production.
Toledo has been home to production of the Wrangler for more than 70 years, and if Jeep could have things its way, Toledo would remain Jeep’s home well into the future. Unfortunately for Toledo, if Jeep determines that a new, aluminum-bodied model is the next step for the iconic Wrangler, then the automaker would move production from Ohio to a plant that is prepared to handle aluminum production. Detroit’s under-utilized Sterling Heights Assembly plant could fit the bill.
According to mlive.com, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne said that it would just be too expensive to update the Toledo plant to accommodate aluminum production. Don’t feel too bad though, if the Wrangler does move, the Toledo plant would welcome a new (unspecified) vehicle – meaning no jobs will be lost.
We expect things might get a bit heated as the local government fights for the iconic Wrangler and the economic incentives associated with its production. Stay tuned – we’ll keep you updated as the Wrangler navigates this unchartered territory.
Here at Rochester Hills Chrysler Jeep, we’d be happy to welcome the Wrangler into our home state, and are looking forward to a new, fuel efficient version of the SUV – wherever it’s built.