Chrysler sales up in January, local plant booming - Toledo News Now, Breaking News, Weather, Sports, Toledo

Chrysler sales up in January, local plant booming

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Jeep Wrangler sales increased by 12 percent in January. Jeep Wrangler sales increased by 12 percent in January.
TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) -

Chrysler announced on Friday its U.S. sales rose 16 percent last month, marking its strongest January sales in five years. The Toledo-made Jeep Wrangler is part of that success.

Sales for the Wrangler jumped 12 percent in January - its best January sales since 2007.

The SUV continues to fly off the lot and onto area roadways at Grogan's Towne Chrysler in North Toledo.

In recent years, Chrysler has tweaked its design enough to make it a specialty kind of vehicle for consumers.

"People that buy it for the first time buy it over and over again," said Denny Amrhein of Grogan's Towne. "Then you get the younger people that really like it once they get it."

Of course, if more Wranglers are being sold, then more need to be built at Toledo's Chrysler Jeep plant. Workers are now on a 6-day-a-week schedule, with two Saturdays on and one off, and 10-hour shifts.

Union officials expect to see what's called a "tag relief system" implemented, a program to increase Wrangler volume by 60 each day.

"It's different for them," explained UAW Jeep Unit Chairman Dan Henneman. "Instead of the line stopping for them after a 15-minute break, you designate another union person who actually goes around and says, 'It's your turn to take a break,' and tag people…as opposed to shutting down the whole production system."

He added that the result will be 40-50 jobs added per shift, and Chrysler gets more Wranglers.

"We're building 770 Wranglers a day now," Henneman said. "They'd like to get us up to around a thousand if they could. Hopefully, they decide to make an investment and expand the building so we could increase our line speed."

That game of tag is what Chrysler dealerships like Grogan's Towne likes to hear.

"I don't see anything but good news for Wranglers," Amrhein said.

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