Chrysler concerned that it may not be able to cope with the Jeep Wrangler demand

Article by Christian Andrei, on June 25, 2011

As demand for the Jeep Wrangler grows, Chrysler gets concerned that its Toledo Assembly complex may not be able to cope. Last Thursday, Michael Manley, president of the Jeep brand, said that the plant’s workers will be kept busy as the demand could soon exceed its capacity.

Manley, who is tasked to present products outside North America, said that Wrangler continues to “grow and grow and grow” in the global markets.

Manley was at the proving grounds last Thursday to display to journalists its range of 16 new and refreshed vehicles.

When the Wrangler was under Daimler AG (Chrysler's former owner), it was seen mostly in the North American region. Year after year, its sales remained strong and in 2007, it surged with the presentation of the four-door Unlimited model.

Two years ago, Fiat SpA assumed control and then pushed the Wrangler back to work at invading overseas markets. Fiat had expected the Jeep brand and Wrangler to increase the sales of Chrysler products around the world.

The issue now is that from January to May 2011, Wrangler’s U.S. sales grew 13% to nearly 42,000 vehicles. Meanwhile, the output of the two and four-door SUVs has climbed 19% to almost 71,000 vehicles. The problem is that the Toledo Assembly plants only have an overall annual capacity of around 150,000 vehicles.

Mike Manley, President and Chief Executive of Jeep Brand at Chrysler Group LLC, remarked that the iconic Jeep Wrangler just keeps getting better, especially with the arrival of its 2011 version. The latest iteration of the Jeep Wrangler still features the vehicle’s unparalleled capability, but it now comes with an all-new interior with an array comfort, versatility and convenience features.

Moreover, Sahara models are provided with an all-new body-color hard top for a more premium look. New interior elements include a redesigned instrument panel as well as new storage areas with upgraded materials and enhanced ergonomics. Moreover, the 2011 Jeep Wrangler now comes with new lockable console and upgraded door armrest areas with comfortable touch points, as well as an easy-to-reach and easy-to-operate redesigned center stack.

For the 2011 model year, the Jeep Wrangler now has larger rear windows and comes available with heated, power mirrors. Moreover, controls for radio, hands-free phone, cruise control and other vehicle functions are now mounted on the steering wheel. Likewise, a new USB device interface links to storage devices like thumb drives and MP3 players for the Wrangler’s Media Center, which also includes streaming Bluetooth audio.

In addition, the interior features 12-volt accessory outlets and a new 110-volt outlet. Interestingly, the new Jeep Wrangler still features the traditional hex-head bolts in the interior, even using them to mount a "Jeep, Since 1941" inlay onto the vehicle’s new passenger grab handle. The 2011 Wrangler and Wrangler Unlimited now boast of reduced interior noise, thanks to acoustical treatment implemented by Jeep engineers. Both the 2011 Jeep Wrangler and Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara models boast of a more premium appearance thanks to their all-new, premium, body-color hard top. Customers may wrap their new Jeep Wrangler in Bright White, Cosmos Blue, Deep Cherry Red, Detonator Yellow or Sahara Tan.

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