Fundamental to the upcoming Jeep Wrangler JL is its aluminum-heavy construction that has prompted Jeep to put its Toledo plant in Ohio through some massive retooling and renovations.
While it may result in better fuel economy, this new move poses a significant risk for a brand that’s in Jeep’s position.
Shifting to aluminum means changing to a more delicate manufacturing process, not to mention more expensive. Ford’s recent predicament with its top-selling F-150 full-size truck attests to the potential issues Jeep faces.
Blue Oval has had to halt production of its truck for awhile so it could readjust to meet demand as the move to aluminum has caused production rates to slow down. Jeep is not only changing the build of its halo nameplate, but also increasing production capacity.
Being notorious for having poor reliability across its lineup, Jeep is walking on thin ice by trying to raise volume goals while making the manufacturing process more difficult for the Wrangler. In a way, the same can be said for Ford.
This is because both brands are already rated terribly when it comes to reliability. In spite of being the biggest US automotive brand, Ford has been placed fifth from last in Consumer Reports rankings. Jeep may be growing strong, but it is second only to Fiat as the worst brand in the same list.