Toledo’s Proposal to Marchionne Urges Jeep to Keep Wrangler Production in Ohio
In October of last year, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) CEO and HBIC, Sergio Marchionne, freaked everyone in Toledo the hell out by mentioning that, if Jeep were to turn to aluminum for the Wrangler in 2017, he would probably have to move Wrangler production out of Toledo because Toledo just doesn’t have enough space to handle the increased production of an aluminum-bodied Wrangler.
Even though Marchionne promised that not one single job would be lost in such a move, Toledo and state officials immediately began to run around like they were chickens with their heads cut off, whose tail feathers were lit aflame in a grease fire, probably because it’s Ohio and there’s nothing better to do here. It’s possible that Marchionne never really planned to move and was just playing some calculated game that involved getting Toledo to offer more incentives and to buy up more land for Jeep to use to build its manufacturing facilities for Wrangler production. If so, then Marchionne is an evil genius, and someone should buy him a cat to stroke right away.
Whatever the case, these events have caused Toledo to put together a proposal, which the city submitted to Marchionne and which contains an “eight- to nine-figure offer,” according to Automotive News. While Toledo’s proposal to Marchionne is private, we do know that the proposed solution would raise Wrangler production capacity to about 350,000. Last year, the plant assembled nearly 236,000 Wranglers.
As far as we know, no other locations have been vying for FCA’s attention regarding Wrangler production. And all laughing aside at how over-reactive Toledo public officials and UAW members were regarding the matter, it does have the potential to be very good for Toledo’s economy. No suppliers will be lost if Wrangler production sticks around in Toledo, and, assuming production does increase, the Toledo Wrangler plant could add more workers, as could area suppliers.
And, of course, Toledo would retain its history of Wrangler production; the city has built the Wrangler since World War II, and much like that prom dress taking up space in your closet from 20 years and 100 pounds ago, it’s really hard to let go.
Here’s hoping that Toledo’s proposal makes it so they don’t have to.
News Source: Automotive News (subscription required)