Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is reportedly considering a new facility to customize Jeep Wranglers and Gladiators before they head out to dealerships. The rumored use comes as the city of Toledo, Ohio negotiates a deal with FCA for property close to the assembly plant they produces the iconic Jeep vehicles.
According to The Toledo Blade FCA is seeking to build a $23 million facility close to its existing assembly plant. The facility will be around 250,000 square feet and eventually employ 300 people, but will be operated by a supplier versus FCA themselves.
Toledo Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz recently announced the pending purchase agreement with FCA. The deal stipulates that the city sell FCA the property for $1, an incentive for the automaker to further invest in the city. In return, Toledo will create a tax increment financing (TIF) zone on the property prior to its sell, meaning any incremental tax revenue from an increase in property value will go directly to public improvements.
Previous administrations at Toledo City Hall managed to purchase a few properties adjacent to the existing Jeep assembly plant as an incentive for FCA to eventually invest further in their community. FCA expressed concerns in the past that it was running out of space at the existing plant.
Although FCA has not confirmed its plans for the proposed new site, speculation suggests it will serve as an up-fit shop for Wrangler and Gladitor. Effectively, FCA will be internalizing a specific level of customization for both Jeep models, aligning with broader industry trends of increasing consumer choice when it comes to customization.
The city of Toledo intends for the sale of the property to be approved before the end of the year.