The all-new Wrangler, codenamed “JL”, is one of the most long-awaited models in the Jeep lineup – but fortunately we have more and more details as the introduction date approaches.
According to Bruce Baumhower, president of United Auto Workers Local 12, the series production of the next-gen Wrangler will kick off in November, while pre-production is scheduled to start “much earlier” – so we’re looking at the Wrangler JK and JL peacefully sharing the assembly lines for several months. Apparently the Toledo plant in Ohio will start retooling in April and will be shut down for no less than six months – with Cherokee production moving to Illinois in Chicago at the Belvidere factory where the build of the old Compass and Patriot came to a halt in December.
Baumhower says “the plant’s going to continue to run the current Wrangler just like they always have, working six or seven days a week” and there are even rumors production won’t cease until March next year when FCA will kill the current generation to prepare for the Wrangler pickup production. This is no surprise, since Jeep has big plans for the sendoff – with the Sport Freedom, Sahara Winter, Sport Big Bear, Sahara Chief, Sahara Smoky, and Rubicon Recon special editions on tow.