More confirmation 2018 Jeep Wrangler production starts Nov., pre-production much earlier

JAY

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Consistent with our sticky'd 2018/2019 Wrangler timeline, The Toledo Blade has quoted president of the UAW Local 12 in confirming that production of the all new JL Wrangler 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 CEO Michael Manley recently stated as probable.


Cherokee production to end in April in city

Plant to prepare for new Jeep Wrangler


Published on Dec. 30, 2016

Production of the Jeep Cherokee in Toledo is expected to come to an end in early April as Fiat Chrysler Automobiles begins to prepare part of its plant here for the next-generation Jeep Wrangler.

Local union officials say the facility will be shut down for about six months as the company replaces tooling and adapts the assembly line for the body-on-frame Wrangler.

Fiat Chrysler hasn’t announced a launch date for that new Wrangler.

However, Bruce Baumhower, president of United Auto Workers Local 12, said normal production of the iconic four-by-four is to begin in November. Production of initial models, to work out production kinks, would start much earlier.

A Fiat Chrysler spokesman declined to comment.

The company has previously announced that the Cherokee would move to an existing Fiat Chrysler plant in Belvidere, Ill., sometime next year. Fiat Chrysler has committed to investing $350 million there to support the project.

Local media near Belvidere, which for the last decade has built the compact Jeep Compass and Jeep Patriot, have reported that plant is already in the midst of its changeover.

The Rockford Register Star reported that retooling work would begin this week and quoted UAW officials there saying they anticipate the process to take about five months, which matches up with what local UAW officials told The Blade.

Production of the Compass and Patriot in Belvidere ended Dec. 23.

In Toledo, production of the current-generation Jeep Wrangler, on sale since the 2007 model year, will not be affected by the Cherokee’s move.

“The plant’s going to continue to run the current Wrangler just like they always have, working six or seven days a week,” Mr. Baumhower said.

That’s expected to continue until March, 2018, when Fiat Chrysler shuts down that side of the Toledo Assembly Complex to prepare it to launch a Wrangler-based pickup.

Fiat Chrysler officials said early this year that all 5,000 full-time jobs at the Toledo Assembly Complex will be protected, though they haven’t detailed how that would work, as total vehicle output is expected to drop once all the changes are complete.

In July, along with announcing the retooling in Toledo would mean a $700 million investment, Fiat Chrysler said it expected to add 700 new jobs in Toledo, though no further details have been released.

UAW leaders have expressed concerns about supplier jobs, however, as production of the Cherokee moves.

“We’ve spent a lot of time in the last couple of months looking into what impact this has on local suppliers and our members in the local suppliers in northwest Ohio,” Mr. Baumhower said.

The Cherokee remains one of the Jeep brand’s best-selling vehicles, with 183,356 sold through November.

Source: The Blade
2018-JL-Wrangler-Uncovered-JLWRANGLERFORUMS-2.jpg





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Dart Maul

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Kinda strange they'll be selling both old and new models at the same time. This just made my search next year more interesting. Looking forward to comparing them at dealers back to back. But I wonder how pricing is gonna compare when they have them sitting on the lots next to each other. I know that even now there's not a lot of bargaining room on the current model but maybe when there's a newer model in the same showroom the dealer will budge more on price of the older model.
 

SteveC

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I'm sure the 2018 JK will come with a few extras, maybe even be a special edition run only (total speculation). Otherwise they could have a lot of unsold JKs with brand new JLs on the lots. No doubt they'll use the JL to upsell buyers and it'll work if they've learned anything from all the similar complaints seen on forums in the last 10 years.
 

Corduroy

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Pre production models? I assume they just mean closer to production testing prototypes?
 

SWinch

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Pre production models? I assume they just mean closer to production testing prototypes?
Yea models made just to test and work out production issues. Won't be sold to the public.
 

Corduroy

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Yea models made just to test and work out production issues. Won't be sold to the public.
I figured. It feels like Jeep isn't quite ready for the JK to bow out. Why not just release the JL for the 2019 model year?
 

Wolfslash16

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How about no; I've been waiting for the release of the JL for just over 2 years. Just release the dang thing and sell it besides the JK.
 

Corduroy

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How about no; I've been waiting for the release of the JL for just over 2 years. Just release the dang thing and sell it besides the JK.
I didn't mean that Jeep should wait even longer to release it. Just wondering why they decided to do it like this instead of releasing it as a separate model year. Seems like it's going to confuse a lot of regular buyers as to why there are major differences in the same model year. Anyway I'm sure we'll find out there are good reasons for it.
 

CorpCow

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Kinda strange they'll be selling both old and new models at the same time. This just made my search next year more interesting. Looking forward to comparing them at dealers back to back. But I wonder how pricing is gonna compare when they have them sitting on the lots next to each other. I know that even now there's not a lot of bargaining room on the current model but maybe when there's a newer model in the same showroom the dealer will budge more on price of the older model.
Towards the end of the JK run in Summer of 2018 we could see some real price slashing to clear them out. The last Patriot and Compass sold in the $20-25k range and last Darts sold for $15-20k.
 

sportcoupe

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Cars? A Jeep isn't a "car"
Wranglers don't have trouble selling, ever. You can't compare them to a Compass or Dart, you almost can't give those things away.
 

Jeepsterfreak

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I'm in the market for a JKU but like many have been holding off until the debut of the JLU. I would prefer the (hopefully) better mpg of the 8 speed but it also depends on top options, axle gearing, towing and of course msrp. The JK will still appeal to many sitting next to the JL on the lot. I doubt they will be discounted more than normal. Heck they might even get a premium being the last model year, especially if the JL top is an extreme departure from the current options which it appears to be.
 

Cal_JLU

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This JL launch is getting drawn out...

There are enough hardcore Jeepers that won't settle for anything less than a JK and will undoubtedly look down upon the JL as "not a real Jeep". Just like numerous TJ owners/ fans respond when you mention the letters "J" and "K". I have no doubt Jeep will have little trouble selling every last JK generation Wrangler they make to the fan boys and girls, and beyond.

Are we really comparing the Dart/ Patriot to the Wrangler???? Anything but an apples-to-apples comparison. Far from it, actually.
 

Davos77

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Wranglers don't have trouble selling, ever. You can't compare them to a Compass or Dart, you almost can't give those things away.
Since the new factory will have twice the capacity of the current setup it could affect Wrangler pricing downwards by changing supply relative to demand. Jeep sells every single Wrangler made now and still can't fully meet demand so there's no incentive to reduce pricing, but once they can make twice as many as now and if/when demand is met, we mightsee pricing not hold as strongly as now. Just a potential theory..
 

Vegas_Sirk

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Since the new factory will have twice the capacity of the current setup it could affect Wrangler pricing downwards by changing supply relative to demand. Jeep sells every single Wrangler made now and still can't fully meet demand so there's no incentive to reduce pricing, but once they can make twice as many as now and if/when demand is met, we mightsee pricing not hold as strongly as now. Just a potential theory..
Maybe ... or the additional production capacity will be switched over to the pickup once the JK is done. I don't think Jeep would push the supply up so much to mess with pricing. The one thing though that COULD affect it is the industry (automotive) is seeing a decline in sales as a whole from peak numbers in 2015
 

Davos77

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Thats a good point! I wonder how many Wrangler pickups they'll sell in a year compared to the regular Wrangler.
 

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