Wednesday, Sep 19, 2018
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Electronics for hybrid Jeep to be assembled at Perrysburg Township plant

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Toledo Machining plant in Perrysburg Township.

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Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV has chosen a Perrysburg Township plant to produce two electrified powertrain components for the electric hybrid Jeep Wrangler vehicle it plans to start building in Toledo in 2020.

The power electronics module for the Wrangler PHEV — plug-in hybrid electric vehicle — will contain two main components: the power inverter module and the integrated dual-charger module.

Workers at the Toledo Machining Plant will assemble the electronics module’s subsystems, upload the power invertor’s software, and test coolant and electrical systems before the finished modules are delivered to the Toledo Assembly Complex, according to a statement issued Thursday by FCA North America.

“The insourcing of this highly advanced work to Toledo Machining is a reflection of a commitment the workforce has made to improving their processes through the implementation of World Class Manufacturing,” Brian Harlow, the automaker’s head of manufacturing, said in the statement.

“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.”

Toledo Machining now employs about 850 people to produce steering columns and torque converters for use at an array of FCA plants in North America.

Jodi Tinson, an FCA spokesman, said the introduction of the hybrid Wrangler work will have “no net effect on employment” at the plant.

The FCA statement noted that the hybrid Wrangler “will be one of more than 30 vehicle nameplates with electrified solutions by 2022.”

Mrs. Tinson declined to say whether Toledo Machining might build electric modules for other FCA models besides the Wrangler, nor would she say where the components to be assembled at the Perrysburg factory will be made.

“It is a new technology for this plant,” the spokesman said.

Operations at the 1.2 million square foot plant began in 1964, and since 2011 Fiat Chrysler has spent $92 million on upgrades to produce the steering columns and torque convertors now made there. The plant’s hourly workers are represented by United Auto Workers Local 1435.

Union officials could not be reached for comment Thursday.

Contact David Patch at dpatch@theblade.com or 419-724-6094.

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