Jeep Wrangler will be produced only at the Toledo plant, says Marchionne

Article by Christian Andrei, on November 19, 2011

The Jeep Wrangler is selling at a record high but even then, it will continue to be produced solely in its Toledo, Ohio plant, according to Chrysler Group CEO Sergio Marchionne. After he announced Chrysler’s intention to invest $500 million in Toledo to produce the next-generation Jeep Liberty, he clarified that it will take "money, effort and time" to expand production capacity of the Wrangler at Chrysler's Toledo Assembly Complex. Marchionne said that it would be “unthinkable” for the Wrangler to be built at some other plant.

Last September, Jeep brand CEO Mike Manley had said that Chrysler was thinking about producing Jeep vehicles in China. Manley said that the Jeep Compass, Patriot and Wrangler are the most likely models to be built in China. From January to October 2011, the output of the Wrangler and four-door Wrangler Unlimited increased by 11% to 141,816 units.

A year ago, it sold 27,354 units. Through October, U.S. sales of the two models were higher by 28% to 101,820. According to union officials, November production set for the Wrangler had surpassed the monthly sales record set last July of 14,355 units.

Concerns were raised by Manley and some of Chrysler’s officials that the production limitations at the Toledo Supplier Park, which builds the Wrangler and is part of the Toledo Assembly Complex, may limit Chrysler's plans to export the Jeep brand globally. This plant, which runs two shifts with a lot of overtime, is estimated to have a maximum capacity of about 160,000 vehicles each year.

With its seventy years of 4X4 engineering experience, the Jeep Wrangler’s classic FWD continually provides unparalleled off-road performance. In fact, Wrangler still produces the legendary electronic lockers, live axles, rear five-link suspensions (front/rear) and the famous body-on-frame design.

This time however, the new Wrangler comes out with two new transmissions -- the five-speed automatic gearbox and the six-speed manual transmission. Other than the new powertrain, Jeep redeveloped the “ride and sound” features of Wrangler’s body-on-frame design. The engineers also took time to enhance the suspension calibrations as well as the transmission and motor adaptations for improved off-road and on road handling.

As for the interiors, the sound quality is so much better than the previous Wrangler model. Jeep has isolated the noise coming from the cabin with the use of noise damping along the firewall. They also redesigned the powertrain mounting system and placed an engine cover for the first time to reduce noise even from outside.

Momentarily, the new 3.6L V6 engine has the built-in accessories already mounted on its surface. This helps in further reducing the noise and vibration coming from the engine. In short, the air-conditioning compressor, alternator and power steering pump are securely mounted within the engine. Likewise, the shock absorbers have been optimised for superior off-road and on-road capability.

Jeep Wrangler has the towing capacity of up to 2500kg and is currently available with more axle gear ratio. Depending on the model, the new Wrangler comes with 4.10, 3.73 and 3.21 ratios. This feature helps deliver the new improved driving performance as well as the benefits of lower fuel consumption for its consumers.

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