Jeep to Cease Wrangler JK Production Making Way for new JL Pickup
That means the pickup’s debut is getting closerby Mark McNabb, on
Jeep is scheduled to end production of the outgoing Wrangler JK on April 7, 2018. Both the JK and the all-new 2018 Wrangler JL have been built simultaneously since November, but on separate assembly lines on separate sides of the Jeep campus. However, the JK’s end marks the beginning of the Wrangler JL-based pickup truck, the Scrambler.
Moreover, that means the Scrambler’s official debut is quickly approaching. The 2018 Chicago Auto Show is likely the next-best opportunity. The show is slated for February 8 and 9, so we don’t have long to wait.
Continue reading for more information.
Once re-tooled, the JK’s assembly line will be used for the JL-based Scrambler pickup.
Fiat Chrysler’s game of musical chairs with its assembly lines started with killing off the Dodge Dart and Chrysler 200. The Jeep Cherokee was then moved to that assembly plant in Belvidere, Illinois, freeing up an assembly line on Jeep’s Toledo, Ohio campus. That’s where the new JL is made, while the JK continues to roll off the same assembly line since the SUV’s introduction for 2007. Once re-tooled, the JK’s assembly line will be used for the JL-based Scrambler pickup. That means both the Wrangler and Scrambler will be assembled just a few hundred feet from each other.
Jeep is expanding JL production by 60,000 units and will soon reach 300,000 Wranglers annually. The Scrambler pickup is expected to have an annual production rate of 100,000 units. Both assembly lines will build both U.S.-spec and global-spec versions of the Wrangler and Scrambler.
The Scrambler pickup is expected to have an annual production rate of 100,000 units
Interestingly, Jeep’s current location isn’t where the brand got its start. That happened a few miles southwest on Interstate 75 on Jeep Parkway. It’s there on that land where every Jeep vehicle from 1941 to 2001 was produced. Jeep moved up the road to its current location while mid-way through the lifecycle of the Jeep TJ.
The original Jeep factory is sadly no more than dust these days, but the “haloed ground” along Jeep Parkway is being repurposed thanks to a few well-known parts suppliers. Dana just finished its new axle assembly plant on the property and Detroit Manufacturing Systems LLC is currently building a 102,000-spare foot facility dedicated to making automotive instrument clusters for various brands, including the Jeep Wrangler and Scrambler.
Read our full review on the 2018 Jeep Wrangler.
Read our full review on the JK-gen 2017 Jeep Wrangler
Read our full speculative review on the 2019 Jeep Scrambler.