Toledo built Jeep posts record sales numbers - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Toledo built Jeep posts record sales numbers

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The September auto sales numbers are in and industry experts say as a whole, they're on the rise. Toyota and Volkswagen each saw double-digit gains. General Motors saw a modest 1.5% increase. Ford saw sales slip slightly by 0.1%. Chrysler, sales rose nearly 12%. It was the best September for the automaker in five years.

Here's how the numbers break down for the Toledo built models. Jeep Wrangler continues to break records, posting its best September sales numbers ever, up 6% from a year ago. Liberty sales rose 5%, but production of that vehicle ended in august.

As they continue to crank out record numbers of Wranglers in Toledo, Chrysler also continues gearing up to launch a brand new Toledo built SUV. There's a lot happening inside the section of the Toledo Assembly Complex where they'll build the Liberty's replacement.

If you drive by the plant you have no doubt noticed all the semis coming and going. They are hauling things in and out as they continue the massive re-tooling process. The truck traffic on the outside is a sure sign of the extensive work inside the Toledo Assembly Complex as Chrysler gear up to launch the new SUV. Bruce Baumhower is the President of UAW Local 12 ,"This new platform will allow them to build multiple vehicles, so since the August shut down, they have spent time gutting the inside of the plant and just now getting ready to put in the new equipment."

The new SUV eventually means a second shift and more than a thousand new jobs. In the meantime they'll begin building test models,"They'll build a handful of cars that won't be for public sale, they will just be test vehicles that they will put together and then tear apart to see how the welding held and things like that.There will be skeleton crews and some of that will start this month in fact."

Chrysler has kept the new SUV under wraps but many of those who've seen it, like Baumhower, call it a game changer, "Wait until that thing comes out. It's going to take the market by storm, just like the Wrangler always has."

The Wrangler has just marked another milestone, the best September sales numbers in history,"When I worked in that plant we built about 60,000 Wranglers in a bad year and 80,000 in a good year and now our numbers are more than 175,000 a year. We think we will hit the 200,000 mark at some point."

As Wrangler continues to drive in record setting sales numbers, Baumhower speculates an expansion at that facility is down the road, "They have stretched the lines out, they've added more people and they've gone to a ten hour shift schedule they've done a lot of things to get more Wranglers and they still can't keep up with orders. So yes, at some point they are going to have to knock down walls and expand that facility as well."

While the plant where they'll build the new SUV is being re-tooled the majority of the workers are laid off, according to a Chrysler spokesperson the bulk of them will return in the second quarter of next year. As for the new hires, Chrysler is in the process of reviewing applications right now. The new Toledo built jeep is expected in showrooms next spring or early summer.

 

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