Jeep made a lot of people happy when it confirmed that the next-generation Wrangler would continue to be built in Toledo, OH. Now, news is breaking about the lengths the automaker will go to in updating its northern Ohio factory. There’s good news for Jeep dealers (more Wranglers to sell!), Jeep fans (more JKs to buy!), and Jeep itself (more money to be made!).
According to a report from Automotive News, capacity at the factory will be increased to 350,000 units per year. That’s around a 50 percent increase over what the Toledo complex can currently manage and is, according to Jeep boss Mike Manley, part of a move to keep production “at the right place” so “supply [stays] just behind demand.”
The other big news revealed by the AN report focuses on the future of the current Wrangler. Yes, the current JK has a future. It’ll continue to be built at the Toledo factory up to six months after it successor arrives in showrooms, a move that’s partially down to the way Jeep is shuffling production about.
Toledo currently builds the Cherokee on a unibody production line – it’ll continue to do so until March of 2017, when production will move to Belvidere, IL. The unibody line in Toledo will then be converted for body-on-frame production, which should take about six months. But during that time, the current JK (likely rebadged as a “Wrangler Classic”) will continue to be built alongside another line of next-generation Wranglers, keeping dealers supplied with the today’s Wrangler through March of 2018. The two Wranglers will overlap for about six months.
This is all very good news if you’ve been waiting to pull the trigger on today’s Wrangler. But move quickly – the clock is officially ticking.