Jeep JK Wrangler output to end April 7, supplier notice shows

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Auto supplier Hyundai Mobis North America has filed a WARN notice with the State of Ohio, putting a timeline on the end of production of the current Jeep Wrangler, widely known by the two-letter code JK.

The layoff notice, required by the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, was filed Thursday and says production will end April 7 on the JK line at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ Toledo, Ohio, assembly plant. The plant will be shut down for extensive retooling in preparation for the launch in April 2019 of a Wrangler-based Jeep pickup.

Approximately 570 people are employed by Hyundai Mobis North America, which has built the chassis for the JK Wrangler since output of the model started in 2006, when that portion of what is now the Toledo Assembly Complex was built. Supplier Kuka builds the JK Wrangler bodies but hasn’t filed a WARN Act notice with the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, according to the agency’s website.

FCA retooled the remaining portion of the Toledo Assembly Complex in 2017 and began building the next-generation Wrangler, known by the two-letter code JL, in November. FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne said, when ramped up, the Toledo plant would produce about 60,000 additional JL Wranglers, or about 300,000 Wranglers per year, to meet domestic and international demand for the off-roader.

In addition, Marchionne said he expects the Jeep pickup will sell at volumes of less than 100,000 vehicles a year after production begins in 2019.

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