The next generation of Jeep Wrangler is due to roll out in 2017. For Chrysler, this means there are big decisions to make; namely, to use aluminum or to not to use aluminum? This is the question keeping Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne up at night.
On the one hand, switching to an aluminum body Jeep Wrangler means the vehicle would be lighter on its feet, and therefore less thirsty for petrol. On the other hand, switching to aluminum means a different manufacturing process. Chrysler has determined that it would be too costly to outfit the already-existing facilities at its Jeep factory in Toledo, Ohio, for the new process. And it can’t add new facilities in Toledo either, for lack of room on the property to build.
The city of Toledo is where the first Jeeps were manufactured. The factory there provides employment to 4,850 workers. Whether or not we see an aluminum body Jeep Wrangler, Marchionne assures us that “there will be zero impact on head count, on employment levels and everything else.”
We at Cumberland Chrysler Center are sure that whatever the decision, Jeep will continue making great off-road vehicles and SUVs for many, many years to come. Come and visit us today and see them for yourself!