The Toledo assembly complex has been producing the Wrangler and its predecessors since the 1940s, but now Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne is mulling a move to a different plant for the iconic Jeep model.
The issue arose from Marchionne’s declarations on the sideline of the 2014 Paris Motor Show that the next generation of the rugged off-roader might feature an aluminum intensive design. If that were the case, the company would need to relocate the model’s production to a different factory – because retooling the Toledo facility was too expensive.
Since that announcement, everyone in Toledo has been on high alert, and the mayor has now stepped up to comment the situation. He claims the automaker is too important to enter a fight even if the Wrangler is moved, as FCA has a large presence in the area and the model’s relocation would be compensated.
“I’m not going to put the citizens of this community and the employees at the complex into a position where we compromise their future,” says D. Michael Collins, adding that together with state officials he moved to meet with Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne last week to start negotiating the Wrangler’s future and the prospects for the assembly complex.