Jeep Milestone Means Good Things for Entire Industry
Toledo loves Jeep. The plant in Toledo employs a good number of people and they’ve been very busy this year. The plant is on pace to produce 500,000 Jeeps for the first time in their history.
It’s great news for Fiat Chrysler, but it’s also incredible news for the automotive industry in general. Jeep has never been a bellwether for the industry when it comes to sales, but the increase in production and the flagship status that they’ve unexpectedly created for their new bosses has given a ray of hope that the trends of positive sales in the industry for the last two years will continue.
Jeep does not represent good gas mileage. It does not represent the family hauling mentality. It is not the most practical brand in the world for anyone other than outdoors people who like to go off-road. The fact that Jeep has had a record-breaking 2014 means that people aren’t just buying vehicles that they need. They’re buying vehicles that they want.
Through November, Jeep sales are up 44% year over year. This is by far the most impressive increase in a market that has seen steady increases from most brands. While the company will not be carrying the industry to the promised land, it is a great indicator that the increased sales in the industry were not just a rightsizing after the bottleneck of new car sales that happened during the recession.
Producing 500,000 Jeeps at the Toledo plant is a minor victory in the whole scheme of things, but it’s a major accomplishment when we look at the state of the industry as a whole.