Chrysler is betting that the Jeep Wrangler will continue its strong sales surge as it continues to push the legendary brand out across the globe. The Auburn Hills automaker is reportedly adding 200 workers at the Toledo, Ohio plant that builds the Wrangler. What's more, those new hires will be at their posts quickly – they'll be on the job by April 1. Of those 200 workers, 130 employees will be there to relieve those who need breaks.
Opinions on the Jeep Liberty replacement appear to be just as divided as those on the current Liberty. The mid-range SUV we have now hasn't done whopping sales numbers for a while, and gets dinged for its engine, transmission, gas mileage and reliability, but in its penultimate year of existence, Jeep moved almost 40 percent more of them than the year before. The Liberty replacement that is yet unnamed is expected to be built on a Dodge Dart platform and pack an available nine-speed transmission
In the wholly owned Fiat stable are its eponymous brand, along with Lancia, Abarth, Maserati and Alfa Romeo – plus, as of relatively recently, all of the Chrysler brands. According to Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne, of all of those brands, the one with the greatest global cachet is Jeep. Marchionne believes that Alfa had global chops as well, but Jeep remains "first and foremost."
It's no secret that Chrysler's future plans are in a constant state of flux right now. After all, the automaker just went through a ridiculously fast bankruptcy where bits and pieces were shed before stewardship was handed over to Italy's Fiat. It's only natural that Chrysler's new management would need some time to get itself organized.
The Jeep Wrangler turns 71 next year, and the city of Toledo, Ohio wants to celebrate the anniversary. Well, let's back up a bit: the first iteration of the Willys MB was penned in 1940. That would turn into the first Jeep, produced in the company's Toledo factory, in 1941. And so next year is really considered the 70th anniversary of the Jeep Wrangler.
Jeep sales are down. They're way down, in fact, posting a 44-percent drop in their daily sales rate last month. Though the larger 'utes are really dragging down sales, even the once-untouchable Wranger has been feeling the sting of escalating fuel prices, as its blocky shape and 3.8-liter V6 engine conspire to deliver awful fuel mileage. Also selling rather slowly are the Jeep Liberty and Dodge Nitro, which are assembled at the same plant in Northwest-Ohio. In an effort to save costs, Chrysler o