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Toledo wrangles Wrangler, pickups; Cherokee shuffled

by Bill Cawthon on

Automotive News just reported that the Jeep Wrangler will remain in Toledo — but that the Jeep Cherokee will move to another state. The Belvidere Assembly Plant and Sterling Heights plants are candidates, with “SHAP” being most likely.

According to Automotive News reporter Larry Vellequette’s report, the decision was announced to plant managers in Toledo this morning.


FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne had told Mr. Vellequette, “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. 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.”

To go with expanded production of the iconic Jeep, Automotive News has independently confirmed that a Wrangler-based pickup will be added for either the 2017 or 2018 model year.

The Cherokee will likely move in the very near future so its plant, set up for front wheel drive-based CUSW vehicles, can be converted to make rear wheel drive Wranglers and (probably) Scramblers.

Some observers believe that since the current Wrangler plant is too large to make only a Wrangler-based pickup, that another rear wheel drive vehicle will be made there — or that the pickup will be added to the same plant that will make Wranglers, and the existing Wrangler facility will be used to boost Ram production or to make future rear wheel drive Dodges.

Some material added by David Zatz.

Bill Cawthon grew up in the auto industry in the 1950s. His Dad worked for Chrysler and Bill spent a number of Saturdays down on the plant floor at Dodge Main in Hamtramck. Bill is also the U.S. market correspondent for, a British auto industry publication, and a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association, which has named the Jeep Grand Cherokee the “SUV of Texas” several times and named the Ram 1500 as the “Truck of Texas” two years running.

Bill has owned five Plymouths (including the only 1962 “Texan”), one Dodge and one Chrysler and is still trying to figure out how to justify a Wrangler. He also has owned at least one of every 1:87 scale model of a Chrysler product. You can reach him directly at (206) 888-7324 or by using the form.

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