Rumors that the next Jeep Wrangler, slated step on the scene in 2017, will switch to aluminum unibody construction and be assembled somewhere other than the longstanding Toledo, Ohio factory, have been squashed. Mostly.
Automotive News tells us their sources "inside and outside of Chrysler with direct knowledge of Chrysler's evolving plans, say the off-roader will remain a body-on-frame SUV." Those guys are pretty smart so, I'd bet on that being accurate.
AN's Larry Vellequett also got Jeep spokesman Todd Goyer to say the next Wrangler "will be the most capable Wrangler ever," which is encouraging. Then again, I guess he wouldn't be much of a spokesman if he said anything else.
If the Wrangler does stick with a body-on-frame setup, Chrysler would theoretically still be able to build it in Toledo.
It's been widely reported that FCA is still pondering an aluminum body for the next incarnation of Jeep's iconic off-roader, but they'll be looking at a lot more manufacturing complexity if they go that route. Jeep is already cranking out Wranglers at full-tilt to keep up with demand, and shutting down the assembly line to do a dramatic re-tool like what Ford went through to make the 2015 F-150 would be really hard on Jeep dealers.
Photo via Zombieite/Flickr