Mayor ‘confident’ Toledo jobs will remain even if Wrangler leavesWritten by Danielle Stanton | | firstname.lastname@example.org
After a face-to-face meeting in Auburn Hills with Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne, Toledo Mayor D. Michael Collins returned to Toledo with the impression that whether or not Jeep Wrangler production leaves Toledo, the city’s jobs are safe.
“I can’t tell you positively that Wrangler will stay here,” Collins told reporters at One Government Center during a news conference Oct. 9. “But I can tell you that the UAW (United Auto Workers) members will be employed whatever the decisions are for Wrangler.”
Marchionne’s Oct. 2 comments at the Paris Auto Show that Wrangler production may cease in Toledo if the vehicle were to switch to an aluminum body set off a flurry of reactions from all levels of government and UAW.
Collins sent a letter to Marchionne and also participated in a conference call with Marchionne and Ohio Gov. John Kasich on Oct. 5.
The mayor described his encounter with Marchionne as “positive.” Meeting the executive for the first time, Collins said Marchionne was “congenial, light-hearted and serious-minded” when it came time for the issues.
Collins’ aim was to keep production of the iconic Wrangler, which has been produced in Toledo for most of the past 70 years. But he said he did not visit the Chrysler executive in order to tell him how to run his business.
“Government doesn’t dictate to private industry,” he told reporters.
“I took the man at his word,” he said. “I believe there was no insincerity. We have to work together.”
Marchionne said two months ago that Wrangler would never leave Toledo.
However, on Oct. 2 he said: “If the solution is aluminum, then I think unfortunately that Toledo is the wrong place.”
Collins said whatever plans for the Wrangler, he felt confident that Marchionne was sincere and that jobs at the Jeep plant would remain safe.