Toledo UAW Members Push for City to Keep Wrangler
Ever since Sergio Marchionne, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) CEO, commented back in October that Wrangler production might move out of Toledo for the first time ever, Toledo UAW members, Toledo citizens, and Ohio government officials have been in a frenzy to get FCA to stay. In 2017, the Wrangler will be switching to an aluminum body, and building the aluminum body in Toledo would be too expensive, according to Marchionne.
Even though Marchionne promised that the production move would have no effect on jobs in Toledo, Toledoans took this personally. The Jeep Wrangler is a part of the city’s heritage; Toledo has been making the Wrangler since World War II, after all.
In their latest efforts to keep Wrangler production in Toledo, Toledo UAW members appeared before the city’s council last Tuesday, asking for the city to purchase some industrial land that would be necessary to expand the assembly plant to allow for aluminum body production. In total, the city would have to pay $738,000 for 4.1 acres.
This last effort seems a little desperate, which is likely what Marchionne wanted, if he’s playing the sick, capitalistic game many think he is. It’s pretty clever: Marchionne drops a hint that he’ll be leaving Toledo, and the city and state governments immediately begin to beg for him to stay, volunteering to fund development and offering incentives. In this instance, the UAW members want the city of Toledo to spend nearly three quarters of a million dollars so that FCA doesn’t have to.
Whether this latest tactic will work remains to be seen.
News Source: Automotive News (sub. req.)