Chrysler to boost Jeep Wrangler output in Ohio
Photo credit: CHRYSLER GROUP
TOLEDO, Ohio -- Chrysler Group and UAW officials have agreed to a plan that will increase Jeep Wrangler output by 90 units a day by June at a plant in Toledo, Ohio.
The agreement calls for 25 workers on each of the two 10-hour shifts at the Toledo Supplier Park plant to be reassigned from nonproduction duties to the assembly line, and the line to add nearly five vehicles per hour.
U.S. Wrangler sales jumped 30 percent last year to 122,460 and inventory levels have remained tight. Outside North America, Wrangler sales totaled 26,278 last year, up 10 percent from 2010.
Chrysler Group executives have repeatedly expressed concern about production limitations at the plant, the only Wrangler production site. The plant builds 700 Wranglers a day, union officials said.
"I'm always worried about having enough Wrangler production," said Mike Manley, head of the Jeep brand for Chrysler Group and the automaker's head of international sales. "The orders are still coming in very, very strong on Wrangler, not just here in the United States, but worldwide. We're working very, very closely with the plant to try and get all the orders fulfilled."
The plant builds Wranglers 20 hours a day, six days a week, with every third Saturday off, said Dan Henneman, Jeep unit chairman for UAW Local 12.
Union officials said regular around-the-clock production at the plant is impossible because of heavy maintenance requirements on its machinery. The plant was built and opened in 2006.
In 2011, the plant built 62,798 Wranglers, up 6 percent from 2010, and 102,368 four-door Wrangler Unlimiteds, up 20 percent from 2010. The combined 165,166 units was the plant's largest single-year production of the Wrangler.
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