Chrysler Group will increase the production of the Jeep Wrangler and Wrangler Unlimited at the Toledo Assembly Complex and will be adding more workers in the last quarter of this year, according to sales chief Reid Bigland. He said that the automaker has been examining ways to increase Wrangler production for some months now.
In the fourth quarter, Chrysler will get more workers for the body shop at the Wrangler plant. At a Chrysler media event, Bigland confirmed the expansion to Automotive News but he declined to provide specific job or production figures. There are two plants in the Toledo complex. The Jeep Liberty is being produced at the unibody plant until it ends its run on August 16.
It’s the second assembly plant that makes the Wrangler and Wrangler Unlimited. Bigland said that the company is on course to achieve its best results ever for the month of June for Wrangler. Bigland added that Chrysler is thinking about opening a third shift at its truck plant in Warren, Mich. This plant produces the Ram 1500 pickup truck, which is being re-engineered for the 2013 model year. It will commence production this fall.
The Wrangler has been available since 71 years ago but it isn’t showing any signs of slowing down. It set an all-time sales record last May with a 44% increase to 14,454 units a year ago. Wrangler sales grew by 34% to 56,410 units during the first five months of the year.
However, Chrysler faces the challenge of keeping up with demand. Toledo is the sole plant that produces the Wrangler and it has maintenance requirements that make it impossible to operate at all hours of the day. The Wrangler plant has around 500 Chrysler employees while the number of workers from Wrangler suppliers that run on the site is twice the size.