Judging by record sales since production began a year ago, Jeep fans are lapping up the redesigned Wrangler.
Which is good — because Jeep dealers are swimming in them.
Supplies of unsold Wranglers at U.S. dealerships or on their way there have ballooned to well more than 100 days in each of the past three months, including a 156-day supply at the beginning of November and 135 days at the start of this month, while the total number of Wranglers in FCA US' field stock rose to 85,979 at the start of this month, from 69,579 at the beginning of October.
That's roughly double or even triple the supply that dealers traditionally carried with the previous JK version of the Wrangler, though levels briefly topped 100 days in the first two months of 2018 as FCA simultaneously produced the old and new generations.
Meanwhile, Wrangler sales — which had been on an unprecedented tear in the first half of this year, including a monthly record of 29,776 in April — are still hitting records, but at a pace much more in line with the Wrangler's traditional sales cycle. Through November, sales are up 25 percent over 2017 to 220,232, including a 20 percent bump in November, when FCA sold 15,963.
So if dealers are selling record numbers of Wranglers, why are so many of the SUVs suddenly on their lots?
One big reason is production. The new assembly line in Toledo, Ohio, where FCA produces the Wrangler has a planned capacity that's nearly double that of the previous assembly line, although that previous line regularly produced at a level about 50 percent above its planned capacity of 160,000 vehicles.
The added Wrangler capacity will allow FCA to expand Wrangler sales to new international markets, FCA CEO Mike Manley has said.