It isn’t too strange for a manufacturer to continue to build a model near the end of its lifecycle as space is made and production is shifted around for the next generation to begin. It would be naïve of us to thing that a vehicle that is at the end of its time would suddenly stop producing the product and the new line would immediately take its place. The machinery needed for a new production line takes months to put together and tool so the new vehicle can have a smooth flowing assembly process to be built from.
Jeep is already planning to change things around. At the Toledo, Ohio plant the production of the Wrangler will increase by fifty percent to keep the old model churning out while the new model machinery is put in place. Currently this plant builds the Wrangler and the Cherokee but the Cherokee will no longer be built in Toledo when the new Wrangler begins to be built. So far none of this is anything new and adding more Wranglers will help as the Cherokee assembly line is moved to the Chrysler plant in Belvedere, Illinois which currently produces the Dodge Dart, Jeep Compass and Jeep Patriot. Likely the Cherokee will take over where the Dart line is since this car is nearing the end of production.
Once again, so far as we see, the Jeep Wrangler production is nothing unusual, but here is where things get a little bit out of the ordinary. Around the third quarter of 2017 the new Jeep Wrangler line is expected to be turned on, but the old Wrangler line will also remain on. For six months these two versions of the Wrangler will be produced side by side in the same plant. Around March of 2018 the old Wrangler line is expected to be converted to create the Wrangler-based pickup truck or possibly the Wrangler diesel and hybrid variants.
Why is Jeep going to continue to produce two different generations of the same vehicle simultaneously for six months? The answer so far has been that the demand for the Jeep Wrangler is high enough globally to need these added vehicles. This explains the increase in production as well, but what isn’t know is whether the old Wranglers built during this time will be sold in the US or sold on the global market, leaving a bit of mystery in the wake.
How will this affect us and our market? It might not at all. If all the older model Wranglers produced during this six month period are shipped abroad we won’t see the effects of this at all. On the other hand, you could easily see two Wranglers on the same lot that were built on the same day that are from two different generations of the vehicle. That is awfully strange in a in a way kind of cool. Maybe if you see this you will be enticed to buy both in order to have something that will be admirable in twenty to thirty years down the road.