Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is planning to spend $1.05 billion retooling two of their factories in the future, probably in preparation for the next generation Wrangler and other future Jeep models that are set to come out soon.
Announced on Thursday, FCA plans to invest $700 million into their Toledo North factory next year where the next generation Wrangler is set to be built and eventually create around 700 new jobs. This Wrangler factory is just one part of a larger multi-site complex in Ohio and plans for the South factory will be announced at a later date.
As for FCA’s factory in Belvidere, Illinois, the company plans to spend $350 million on the retooling of this factory and create an additional 300 jobs there.
A sound investment with the Belvidere factory because FCA is planning to move the Jeep Cherokee production from the Toledo plant to Illinois in 2017. That will free up space to build the new Wrangler in Toledo without having to interrupt the outgoing model’s production.
Currently, the Toledo North factory is producing the Wrangler while the South factory is producing the Cherokee. Once the Cherokee production is shifted to Illinois, FCA will have a plant open for another model. They could possibly build the much anticipated Jeep pickup that’s set to launch early 2018 in the south building. We can expect to hear about the Toledo South plant changes near the end of this year’s third quarter.
The large investments may be part of Jeep’s plan to prepare for future demands. The brand’s sales have strong with a global sale of 1.2 million vehicles in 2015 and in the first half of this year, they managed to sell 468,131 Jeeps in the U.S. alone, that’s a 16.5% increase in sales and the number is expected to go up once the next generation Wrangler goes on sale.