Consistent with our 2018/2019 Wrangler timeline (see full schedule), The Toledo Blade has quoted president of the UAW Local 12 in confirming that production of the all new 2018 Wrangler (JL/JLU) will begin in November 2017, with pre-production models to start much earlier.
Part of Toledo plant (the portion producing the Cherokee) will shut down for 6 months starting in April as the facility retools the assembly line for the JL/JLU Wrangler. Cherokee production will be shifted in whole to the Belvidere plant in Illinois.
The shutdown will not affect production of the current JK/JKU Wrangler which will continue into 2018. Our supplier sources have now confirmed that 2018 JK/JKU production will run from October 2, 2017 until the end of March 2018 — for a 6 month model year. Why produce both simultaneously? It prevents the loss of months of sales from retooling the current Wrangler line for the new Wrangler; a move that helps satisfy the current unmet demand globally (including in the U.S.) for the Wrangler. After the JK Wrangler bows out for good, its production line capacity will go towards building additional Wrangler models, including the Wrangler pickup truck (due one year after the JL/JLU Wrangler) and diesel and hybrid models.
With production coming very late in 2017, we don’t expect to see the 2018 Wrangler (JL/JLU) revealed until the second half of 2017 — timing which Jeep chief Michael Manley recently stated as probable.
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