After more than 2.1 million models made since production began in 2006, a white 2018 Wrangler JK Rubicon Unlimited rolled off the line Friday at FCA's plant in Toledo, Ohio, as the last of its kind and as factory employees snapped photos. Fiat Chrysler is planning to retool the U.S. Toledo Supplier Park plant for an all-new Jeep pickup truck for launch in the first half of 2019. The final Wrangler JK will become one of the Jeep brand's show properties.
"We take great pride in the role we have played in the history of this vehicle and the impact it has made in the Toledo community," Chuck Padden, the Toledo Assembly Complex manager, said in a statement. "We look forward to bringing that same commitment to the all-new Jeep truck."
The JK has been on the road since 2007 and was built as part of a co-location concept with suppliers Kuka and Hyundai Mobis, which managed the manufacturing processes of the body and chassis, respectively. They'll also oversee those same responsibilties with the forthcoming Wrangler pickup, which is expected to begin production in the fourth quarter and hit showrooms in April 2019. We've been limited to spy shots of heavily camouflaged versions of that vehicle, which is tentatively called the Scrambler, though there were those ostensibly well-educated renderings from the Jeep Scrambler Forum a few weeks ago.
FCA Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne has said he expects the new pickup to sell around 100,000 units per year, and the Toledo plant has an annual capacity of about 300,000 units.
Meanwhile, FCA is continuing production of the Wrangler through the new Wrangler JL, which is being built on the north side of the Toledo Assembly Complex as part of a $4.5 billion production realignment to boost the Jeep and Ram brands. The Wrangler JL gets a 3.6-liter V6 that makes 285 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. It's also available with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, which generates 268 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque, available only with an eight-speed automatic transmission, for an extra $3,000 (technically it's $1,000 for the four-cylinder engine and $2,000 extra for the eight-speed trans). A 3.0-liter diesel version is also due of the four-door version in 2019.