TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) - Toledo city leaders say they are hoping production of the Jeep Wrangler can remain in Toledo, but if not, they are dedicated to not losing manufacturing jobs.
Mayor D. Michael Collins met with Chrysler executives, including Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne, on Thursday to discuss the future of the Wrangler. While no decisions have been made, Collins says Chrysler is committed to maintaining employment levels in Toledo.
"The most important thing is that we're going to have a good manufacturing base in Toledo," said Councilman Mike Craig.
"I think we should be strong and solid and resolute, and put politics to the side, as we did the last time we did keep Jeep," said Councilman Rob Ludeman.
The current Wrangler model has been built in Toledo for several decades. Its production employs about 1,700 people in Toledo.
Marchionne announced at the Paris Auto Show that if the 2018 Wrangler is made with an aluminum body, production may have to be moved from Toledo.
"The aluminum product makes it lighter, makes it more gas-efficient, so maybe we need to call upon our folks in Washington to look at what can be done here to keep this product," Ludeman said.
Ludeman and Craig say the city is in the process of purchasing land on Stickney Avenue, which could also help Toledo's case for keeping production in the city.
"That property could be ripe for them to expand their product and have two lines running," said Ludeman.
Collins and Chrysler are planning a follow-up meeting within the coming weeks to continue the discussion.