- Associated Press - Sunday, August 16, 2015

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) - More Jeep Wranglers are being sold than ever before and company officials say employees are working weekends to keep up with demand.

Employees at the Toledo Assembly Complex are now building Wranglers every Saturday and many Sundays to keep up with demand, The Blade reported (https://bit.ly/1HH8q1o).

Last year, the plant built nearly 236,000 Wranglers. In the year’s first half, Wrangler sales rose nearly 20 percent to more than 100,000.

Fiat Chrysler is considering moving the Wrangler assembly line out of Toledo so it can be made with a partial aluminum body. CEO Sergio Marchionne has said the cost of reconfiguring their current plant is a challenge.

Mark Epley, the Jeep unit chairman for the United Auto Workers Local 12, and other union leaders said they hope that flexibility and willingness to cooperate will strengthen their argument that Toledo should keep Wrangler production.



“That work force always surprises me on how they come up with the time they put in and the cars they build. It just amazes me,” Epley said.

Marchionne has said he hopes to decide by the end of the summer whether Jeep Wrangler production will remain in Toledo. He said he will do what he can to find a way to make the business case work.

Jeeps have been made in Toledo almost continuously since the 1940s.

Toledo officials have given Fiat Chrysler an incentives package as part of their effort to keep the Wrangler.

Kristin Dziczek, director of the Industry & Labor Group at the Center for Automotive Research said that puts Fiat Chrysler in a difficult position of deciding what to do with a next-generation Wrangler, due in 2017.

“It has to do with the incentives, certainly, and all the things that the city, state, and municipal governments are willing to do, but it also has to do with the business case,” she said. “Where is it least disruptive to the overall company?”

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Information from: The Blade, https://www.toledoblade.com/

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