Amid all the hand wringing and social media sobbing more than the celebrities we’ve lost in 2016, no 1 thought to mention the Jeep Compass and Patriot — sturdy-promoting, cost-effective yet archaic autos that have been loathed by the automotive press.
Properly, the decade-old twins are dead. Gone. Finito. Pushing up daisies. The Toledo Blade reports that the Patriot and Compass ceased production on December 23, paving the way for a significantly-enhanced second-generation global Compass.
Whilst the new, bigger Compass prepares for its launch, the next-generation of the Jeepiest of all Jeeps — the 2018 Wrangler — remains heavily shrouded. We’ve seen specifics leaked about its appearance and drivetrain, but Fiat Chrysler Automobiles remains silent on a production timeline. Properly, always count on a union representative to spill some beans.
According to the Blade, FCA’s Toledo assembly plant will cease production of the Jeep Cherokee in early April to make way for the subsequent-gen Wrangler. The move is part of a larger game of production musical chairs that is only just begun. A six-month shutdown follows the Cherokee’s Toledo exit, throughout which time the plant will retool for physique-on-frame assembly.
Bruce Baumhower, president of United Auto Workers Local 12, told the Blade that production of the 2018 Wrangler will commence in November. Pre-productions models must seem “much earlier.”
As the plant gears up for the new Wrangler, production of the current model should continue uninterrupted, Baumhower said. He added that the current generation must see production wrap up in March 2018. Soon after that, the line will convert to next-gen Wrangler pickup production — a shadowy model that has played a starring role in the fevered dreams of Jeep aficionados for years.
When out of Toledo, Cherokee production moves to the Belvidere, Illinois facility not too long ago vacated by the Heaven-bound Patriot and Compass. Retooling is currently underway at that plant, UAW officials claim.
(H/T to Tom!)
[Image: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles]