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Jeep sets sales records for Wrangler

Brand's chief executive gives Toledo workforce credit


Jeep CEO Mike Manley speaks about the company while standing near a Jeep Wrangler 10th Anniversary Rubicon at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit today.

The Blade/Andy Morrison
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DETROIT -- Jeep set both U.S. and global sales records for the Wrangler last year, and the brand’s chief executive said today the Toledo workforce deserves a big portion of the credit.

“Every single month they’ve been able to exceed what I thought they’d be able to produce, all the way through ‘12. That was a massive contributor to us breaking the record,” Jeep brand CEO Mike Manley told The Blade.

Jeep sold 141,669 Wranglers in the United States and 194,142 worldwide.

“The guys have done a phenomenal job,” he said of Toledo workers.

READ MORE from the North American International Auto Show

PHOTO GALLERY: 2013 auto show

Mr. Manley believes Jeep can sell even more Wranglers in 2013, but acknowledged the Toledo plant -- already running beyond its intended capacity -- can’t continue at that pace forever as the company works to meet market demand.

He said Chrysler Group officials are considering several options, but said it was too early to talk specifics.

On Monday, Chrysler Group CEO Sergio Marchionne told reporters the company needs to invest in the Toledo plant “at some point,” though he said it wouldn’t happen until at least 2015.

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