You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

We Hear: Next-Gen Jeep Wrangler Production Could Leave Toledo

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 10/3/2014 Erick Ayapana

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne is further solidifying rumors that the next-generation Jeep Wrangler will be radically different from the one we know today. In fact, it’ll be so different that production of the iconic Jeep may have to shift away from the Toledo, Ohio plant, where the Wrangler has been assembled for decades.

Marchionne suggested the possibility of the move speaking to reporters at this week’s Paris auto show. The main reason behind it would be the switch to aluminum construction. Marchionne states that retrofitting the Toledo facility for aluminum production would be too expensive. A Jeep spokesman said the company isn’t able to provide further comment.

As we previously reported, Jeep is considering aluminum to save weight and is closely studying what Ford has accomplished with the new 2015 F-150. Other rumors have suggested that the next-gen Wrangler, slated to arrive in 2017, will switch from its solid axle setup to a more modern independent suspension system.

But that’s not all. While the Wrangler’s 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 has received much praise, Marchionne suggests that the off-roader will need to adopt smaller engines, possibly a turbo-four, to help the automaker meet fleet fuel economy mandates. Another likely powertrain upgrade would be the addition of Chrysler’s eight-speed automatic to replace the aging five-speed auto. A six-speed manual would likely remain. chryslers-sergio-marchionne© Provided by MotorTrend chryslers-sergio-marchionne

Moving Wrangler production away from Toledo will undoubtedly face resistance. Bruce Baumhower, president of United Auto Workers Local 12, says the move would be “unacceptable.”

“They can talk about anything they want to do with how the Wrangler is made -- whether it’s aluminum or a different powertrain or whatever,” Baumhower said in an interview with Automotive News. “But it has to be made in Toledo, in its birthplace.”

Source: Automotive News (Subscription required)

2014 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon X© Provided by MotorTrend 2014 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon X
AdChoices
AdChoices

More from Motor Trend

Loading...

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon