Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has announced that its Toledo Machining Plant will be tasked with producing the Power Electronics Module for the Jeep Wrangler PHEV – Jeep’s first-ever plug-in-hybrid-electric vehicle. The move ensures that the 54-year-old Toledo Machining Plant will play an important role at FCA as the automaker delivers on its promise to invest heavily in powertrain electrification, pouring some $10.5 billion into hybrids, PHEVs, and battery-electric vehicles by 2022. It also keeps production of the module in-house, rather than giving that production work to a supplier.
Until recently, Fiat Chrysler was a bit of a holdout with regard to powertrain electrification, proving slower than many of its rival automakers to commit to any large investments for hybrids and EVs. That all changed in June when the late Sergio Marchionne, then CEO of the company, unveiled a plan at FCA’s Capital Markets Day to spend billions to bring out a range of more than 30 brand-new electrified vehicle models over the next few years. Nearly half of those – 14 models – will be sold under the Jeep brand.
FCA’s Toledo Machining Plant currently employs nearly 850 to produce steering columns and torque converters for a variety of vehicle models. The Power Electronics Module the plant will soon start producing for the Jeep Wrangler PHEV contains a Power Inverter Module and an Integrated Dual Charger Module, FCA says. Toledo Machining workers will assemble those sub-systems, upload the necessary Power Inverter Module software, and conduct final testing on the coolant and electrical systems. Finished modules will sit within a protective enclosure underneath the vehicle, between the exhaust and the drive shaft.
“The insourcing of this highly advanced work to Toledo Machining is a reflection of the commitment the workforce has made to improving their processes through the implementation of World Class Manufacturing,” says FCA North America Head of Manufacturing Brian Harlow. “As the most iconic of the Jeep nameplates, it is critical that we flawlessly execute the launch of the Wrangler PHEV. The Toledo Machining employees have made a strong business case as to why we should put our faith in them to deliver a great product.”