The Jeep brand is red-hot around the world, and it’s most recognizable model remains the Wrangler. Even in some closed foreign markets with punitive import tariffs, the Wrangler remains a prized status symbol. To keep supply up in this high demand environment, Fiat Chrysler Automobile’s Toledo, Ohio, plant will continue to build the outgoing JK Wrangler while production of the new JL Wrangler ramps up, Automotive News reports. Jeep claims there is sufficient demand for the JK both domestically and internationally to justify the move.
However, the decision is not entirely altruistic. Production of the KJ Cherokee is moving from Toledo to Belvidere, Illinois, the plant that currently builds the Dodge Dart. The conversion of the Cherokee line to build the JL is expected to take six months. As reported earlier, Toldeo will also build a pickup version of the JL sometime after the debut of the core two-door and four-door SUV variants.
The JK will likely be branded the “Wrangler Classic” as it continues production through March 2018. The JL Wrangler is expected to begin production in fall 2017. The JL will reportedly offer available diesel and hybrid powertrains. The second-generation 3.6L Pentastar V-6 is expected to be the mainstay engine, mated to an eight-speed automatic or six-speed manual.
Source: Automotive News