Despite proudly eschewing any sort of trendiness, the Jeep Wrangler continues to be one of the brand's best-selling models, and with an increased emphasis on export sales, Chrysler's Toledo, Ohio facility is running at full speed to keep up with demand. Even taking historically low vehicle sales in Europe into consideration, worldwide demand for the iconic sport-utility resulted in record production of more than 200,000 units in 2012.
Starting on April 1, Chrysler will add a total of 200 workers to the Toledo facility, split between the assembly line and the paint shop. The majority of the new hires, about 130, will be so-called "tag-relief" workers to keep the line production moving while the regular shift workers are on break. The other 70 workers are being added to a third shift at the Wrangler paint shop.
The plant production expansion is also having a positive ripple effect on suppliers, with Mobis North America, supplier for the Wrangler's chassis, also planning on adding 50 workers to keep up with demand. The added workers at Chrysler and Mobis are expected to raise annual production capacity of the Wrangler by 16,000 units.
Although Fiat/Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne plans expansion of the Jeep brand into other markets with new subcompact models, and production of some models in China for local consumption, he has vowed to keep full production of the Wrangler in the U.S.
The Toledo production facility also includes a separate line that will build the upcoming 2014 Jeep Cherokee compact SUV starting around May 2013.
Source: Detroit Free Press