Jeep is set to move production of the Cherokee in their Toledo plant this April to make way for the 2018 Wrangler, which we have learned is set to start rolling off the assembly line in November.
To make space for the improved second-generation global Cherokee at the Fiat Chrysler plant in Belvidere, Illinois, Jeep has ceased production of the Patriot and Compass on December 23 last year.
We still don’t have an official Wrangler JL launch date, but The Toledo Blade stated that after the Cherokee’s production move, the Toledo plant will be shut down for a span of six month to update the assembly line and retool it for the new body-on-frame Wrangler. This would put the 2018 Wrangler’s production month in November with pre-production models rolling off the assembly line much earlier.
Pre-production models are vehicles that are built in small quantities to test a facility’s assembly techniques and tools. It’s also a chance to train workers for volume production and the built cars can be used for press appearances.
As all this is going on, the current Wrangler’s production will go on uninterrupted and it’ll be built alongside the JL until March, 2018. That’s when FCA plans to shut down that half of the plant to prepare it for the new Wrangler pickup.