Photo Source/Copyright: Rebecca Cook via Reuters
American automaker Jeep has long been a powerhouse in the auto market by offering its lineup of diverse off-road capable SUVs and trucks to everyday consumers. It seems like Jeep has no plans of stopping the progress they’ve made well past its upcoming 80th anniversary by pledging to invest in its future far and beyond. To solidify that promise, Jeep has announced an investment of $23 million for a customization site for its vehicles near its Jeep factory in Toledo, Ohio. This customization facility will allow consumers to skip the line past aftermarket providers and directly work with the automaker to build the Jeep of their dreams. It is expected that modified turnkey 4×4 Jeeps will be sold straight off the assembly line and create just over 300 jobs.
Instead of building a new facility from the ground up, Jeep opted to redevelop existing properties from ambulance service provider MedCorp and Textileather, a vinyl manufacturer. According to The Toledo Blade, the companies closed in 2013 and 2009, respectively, and opened the door for Jeep to acquire the site for $1. Here, Jeep plans to build a 250,000 square-foot facility. Jeep plans to have tenants occupy the new unit, and while no names have been thrown out, don’t be surprised if Mopar, the in-house aftermarket tuner for all Stellantis automakers, might be Jeep’s new roomies.
While no one knows the exact details of what Jeep will use the facility for, the president of the local UAW — the workers union representing the local Toledo plant — did suggest that Jeep’s future customization options will include running boards, custom paint jobs, different lights, custom logos, bigger roll bars, fan-favorite bigger tires, and more. It’s like a candy land for adults.
Toledo city officials decided to sell the plot for $1 to encourage Jeep to stay in the city. If, for whatever reason the automaker chooses to go another way, the city has the right to buy-back the land for the same $1 it sold it for due to a clause.
The move seems to be pulling a page from aftermarket customizers on the Jeep Wrangler that everyone loves to tinker with and make their own. Essentially, by giving buyers the option of ordering an off-roader directly customized by the maker, it maximizes the experience the consumer has with their vehicle. This would also eliminate the hassle of having drivers go to multiple parts makers and tuners, which often takes extended periods of time.
Wrangler and Gladiator likely to be fan-favorite ID models
As previously mentioned, the Wrangler is traditionally the most customized vehicle in the Jeep lineup. It is likely that if you have ever seen a Jeep Wrangler on the road, it’s had some sort of aftermarket modification via a lift or tires, rims, paint, etc. Muscle Cars & Trucks has reason to believe that the Wrangler and Gladiator models will likely be the meat and potatoes of this project. On top of that, both models are manufactured at the Toledo plant already; this would make a transition between the sites seamless. As for other models such as the Cherokee and Renegade, they are traditionally never customized and are made in separate factories. However, a custom Jeep Grand Wagoneer would be unique depending on the demand for it.
It is likely that more details about the custom factory will come out within the coming months. Jeep is famous for not letting secrets slip out, and this story likely won’t be any different.
Enjoy and experience the Jeep excellence at your local Florida Jeep. Visit The Jeep Experts, check out the latest Jeep Wrangler and Jeep Gladiator inventory, and schedule a test drive today. If offroading isn’t really your thing, opt for a daily commuter like the Jeep Grand Cherokee — the most-awarded SUV ever. follow your local Jeep dealer on social media to stay up to date with the latest Jeep news and to be the first to know when Jeep launches its own customization facility.
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Terry is an avid Nascar fan who grew up attending races at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina, just down the road from his hometown of China Grove, NC. Terry currently resides in Wellington and has been writing for 15 years. He also enjoys watching the Road Runner Looney Tunes cartoon with his two sons in his spare time.