Great news coming from the Jeep union today. 13 Action News has learned that a new vehicle will likely be coming to Toledo. It's called the Stretch Wrangler and it could mean hundreds of jobs. According to the union, it's almost a done deal. Toledo will be the new home for the Stretch Wrangler. Best case scenario: as soon as 2004 the new product could be rolling off the line and the Jeep plants could be back to full employment.
The Stretch Wrangler is 18 inches longer than a standard Wrangler and offers more room in the back seat. It would be produced alongside the Wrangler at the North Cove plant and at Stickney. The UAW's Nick Vuich says, "Actually I believe it is coming; the only thing we don't know right now is the volume. That will depend on the market." The number of Stretch Wranglers Daimler Chrysler decides to produce impacts the number of jobs. The new vehicle could mean more overtime but workers hope it means another shift. Daimler Chrysler declined to make official comment but UAW tells us workers are already making modifications inside the plant to make way for the Stretch Wrangler.
Pricing is important for the Stretch Wrangler because if it's only a little more expensive than a standard Wrangler, people will upgrade and abandon the Wrangler. The goal is to tap into a new market with a larger Wrangler. We're told production could begin on this product in early 2004. In addition we've learned from the union that a new plant manager is on the way, so some big changes in store. We'll keep you updated.