It was the latest Wrangler JK model after nearly 12 years on the market. JK Assembly Center Manager James Gholston Jr. drove it off the line Friday afternoon at 3:36 p.m. and joined a crowd of applauding employees. Since its debut in 2006, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) produced over 2.1 million Wrangler JK models, the first Wrangler to feature a four-door option, selling an average of more than 180,000 units. “There was no competition. When the four-door came along it opened it up to another demographic, another market. It became not only a great off-road vehicle, but it also became a family vehicle,” said Chuck Padden, manager of the Toledo Assembly Complex plant where the vehicle was produced.
So, it’s the end, but this end is a new beginning: the line that shut down yesterday will be rebuilt to initiate production of the long-awaited 2019 Jeep pickup truck. The production line conversion started immediately. The new Wrangler JL is also sold in two-door and four-door versions, although “Unlimited” is no longer part of the larger version’s official model name. The last Wrangler JKs and the first Wrangler JLs are and will be available on dealer lots as 2018 model year 4x4s.