But it's really not a bad problem to have.
The Jeep Wrangler has been and will remain a popular vehicle in the US and beyond. Built in Toledo, Ohio, the recently redesigned 2019 Wrangler and Wrangler Unlimited have been in dealerships for several months now but already there’s a problem. According to Automotive News, there are simply too many of them sitting on dealership lots. The publication discovered that supplies of unsold Wranglers at or on their way to dealers have increased to more than 100 days in each of the past three months, including 135 days at the beginning of this month.
Looking at the big picture, the total number of unsold Wranglers in the US increased to 85,979 examples at the beginning of December. In early October, that figure was 69,579. In fact, Wrangler sales are still hitting record numbers.
Through last November, for example, sales were up to 220,232 units, that's a 25-percent increase of over 2017. That includes a 20 percent increase in November alone when 15,963 Wranglers were sold. So what’s going on here? It’s quite simple, really. Jeep is building more Wranglers than it can sell, despite high demand. One of the reasons why is the Toledo, Ohio assembly facility itself. Planned capacity here is nearly double that of the old assembly line for the previous generation Wrangler. FCA purposely made this happen so that Wrangler demand in overseas markets could be met. Then again, perhaps FCA went a bit overboard. Jeep dealerships in the US are having a hard time selling Wranglers not because they’re bad vehicles, but because of their high price tag.
One salesperson summed it up perfectly: “I have the largest Wrangler supply I have ever had. That car has gone up in the last three years $12,000! These freakin’ things are $55,000 now. I think that vehicle is price-sensitive, and I think they went a little far with the pricing. They are a little aggressive.”
The new JL Wrangler two-door, for example, is at least $3,950 more expensive than its JK predecessor. With few to no cash incentives, some potential buyers may wait to buy used, even though resale values are expected to remain high. However, FCA has been selling Wranglers to rental fleets which results in lower residual values. In the past 60 days alone, Wrangler resale values have dropped by $2,500 per unit.
Despite that, FCA has no plans to reduce Wrangler production anytime soon. Combined with international and domestic demand, especially the latter come spring time, Toledo’s Jeep factory workers are being kept busy around the clock.