Dealerships wonder about Jeep Cherokee as the last one leaves Jeep plant

Dealerships wonder about Jeep Cherokee as the last one leaves Jeep plant

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - The last locally-built Jeep Cherokee rolled off the assembly line this evening and Jeep workers will be laid off until they make the new Wrangler in the fall.

It's the end of an era at the Toledo North Assembly Plant. While it wasn't a long era for this version of the Jeep Cherokee, it has been a good seller.

But will local customers still buy, now that it's leaving for Illinois?

A white Cherokee still sits in front of the Jeep plant but probably not for much longer.

In March of 2103, we went to the New York International Auto Show to show you the unveiling of the Cherokee, proudly made by Toledo Jeep workers. But now local dealerships are wondering what it means for sales.

The Cherokee has been a staple at Yark Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge Ram because midsize SUV's are now hotter than 4-door sedans.

Nothing has changed on how many they will get in, but there is worry about how many Cherokees will go out.

David Thomas, sales manager at Yark Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge Ram, said, "There might be a few people that are loyal to just the local product."

When asked if he hopes they look at another Jeep model, Thomas said, "Absolutely. With as good as the programs and the incentives and things are for the employees in general, it would be great for them to take a look at something else. If for some reason they don't want the Cherokee and want to steer towards something else."

Yark expects the next generation Wrangler to boost sales when it arrives.

And there is also the Wrangler pickup truck that will eventually be built at the Toledo plant. Thomas said customers are already asking about it.

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