Where Are Jeeps Made? (Wranglers, Cherokees, Etc.)
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The Jeep® brand has always screamed blue, red, and white and prided itself with being 100% American-made since the Willys-Overland marque. But it has been over three decades, and six mergers since AMC took over. As an avid Jeep enthusiast, it would be interesting to know where Jeeps are made and if these historic 4x4s still stay true to their heritage and reputation.
So, where is Jeep made? Jeeps are primarily made in the U.S. About 70% of a Jeep vehicle has parts manufactured in-country, with the other 30% (i.e. powertrain, transmission) coming from 14 other international facilities. The Jeep Renegade, Compass, and Wrangler are exceptions, produced 100% in Italy and America.
Consumers can expect movement in these figures with the consequent demand for energy-efficient, modern-day vehicles. While some sites have reportedly closed due to the effects of the global pandemic, new manufacturing plants are under construction to meet the production needs of the recent Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe and upcoming EVs (electric vehicles) and BEVs (battery electric vehicles).
With the heart of manufacture and assembly staying in the U.S., Jeep fanatics can be assured of the continued high quality of future Jeep® products. Read on, and discover where all the magic begins for this illustrious four-wheeler.
Dreaming Up the Jeep® Brand
The question “Where are Jeeps made?” no longer comes as a surprise for a brand preceded by its reputation. After all, Jeep has made such an indelible mark in off-roading history, greatly influencing present-day conquerors of rocky terrain and dirt. For a vehicle with its fair share of drawbacks and acclaim, it is but expected of consumers to want to know how it is made.
The current lineup of the Jeep brand consists of the Wrangler, Cherokee, Grand Cherokee, Compass, Renegade, and Gladiator. Common knowledge is that these 4x4s are predominantly (if not all) made in the U.S. However, this is not entirely the case. Where Jeep vehicles are manufactured now depends on the current structure and financial strategy of parent company Stellantis and the target market of the specific Jeep vehicle.
The First Jeep Ever Made
Appreciating the tremendous effort put in assembling a Jeep requires looking back at its roots — all the way to the Willys-Overland era. Back then, these vehicles were intended for military use, manufactured in Toledo, Ohio, and built under license by various firms overseas for foreign markets (examples of these would be the re-dubbed versions of the CJ-3B produced in Mahindra, India, and Izmir, Turkey). Even when the 4×4 dropped the Willys moniker and officially carried “Jeep” in its branding, vehicle production was still concentrated in the company’s mother facility.
Despite an increase in public demand and the addition of new model derivatives, this setup went on until the birth of the Wrangler series alongside the Renault takeover. But if you were to ask, “where are Jeep Wranglers made?” at the time, initial units of the Jeep YJ models were surprisingly produced in the Brampton Assembly Plant in Ontario, Canada (AMC’s main facility). It was not until the plant shut down in 1992 (1995, according to Wikipedia) that all unit production for the Jeep Wrangler was moved to the Toledo South Assembly Plant. Since then, the increase of manufacturing and assembly plants continued alongside every merger the automobile firm underwent.
1987 Chrysler Acquisition
The turnover from AMC to Chrysler is worth mentioning when it comes to the manufacture and assembly of Jeep vehicles. Chrysler stepping in was a financial saving grace for the Jeep brand and an important milestone in its expansion. Before this acquisition, the Toledo Complex in Ohio was the only facility responsible for bringing the vision of Jeep® to life. But with the merger, Jeep had at least two more facilities supporting the production needs of its highly-regarded off-road vehicles.
Key Facilities for Jeep Manufacturing
Toledo Assembly Complex in Toledo, Ohio
This 312-acre site in Toledo, Ohio, began in 1942 with the Stickney Plant — now part of the current Toledo Supplier Park (a.k.a. Toledo South Plant). Initially used for machining and engines, it was later converted for the production of the Jeep Grand Wagoneer, running for a decade until the summer of 1991. When the Brampton Assembly Plant in Ontario shut down, the Jeep Wrangler was pulled out and transferred to this location.
The facility did not have a North Assembly Plant until 1997. This second half was built specifically for the production of the Jeep Liberty, which rolled off this assembly line for the next 11 years. The all-new Jeep Cherokee later replaced the Liberty on June 24, 2013. Along the way, Chrysler invested $500M in this section of the complex to cover for upgrades, a Metrology Center, and a six-acre expansion of the facility.
Similarly, the Toledo Supplier Park was not built until 2005 — in preparation for the Jeep Wrangler and Wrangler Unlimited series. Essentially, it was on the same site as the old Stickney Plant and Parkway Annex. This assembly line rolled off the remaining Jeep Wrangler generations up to the last unit on April 27, 2018. After which, it picked up on the production of the Jeep Gladiator following a $273M investment in the south plant’s modernization.
At least a year before the last Jeep Wrangler JK was rolled off the south plant, FCA had already made plans to invest another $700M in the Toledo North Plant to fund the uninterrupted production of the next wave of Wranglers. This meant making room for the swap and consequently ending the Jeep Cherokee line in April 2017. Production of the 2018 Jeep Wrangler began eight months after. The Jeep Wrangler 4xe followed suit in 2020.
Jefferson North Assembly Plant in Detroit, Michigan
Originally one of Chrysler’s main assembly plants, this 3.69-acre complex is the only auto assembly plant entirely within the Detroit city limits and is where Jeep Grand Cherokees are made. Opened in 1991, the facility began producing and assembling the Grand Cherokee line in 1992 and has been doing so since. The now-discontinued Jeep Commander also rolled of this assembly line between 2006 and 2010. As of today, this facility has put together over 3,000,000 Grand Cherokees.
Mack Avenue Assembly Plant in Detroit, Michigan
A refurbished plant whose history goes as far back as the 1916 Michigan Stamping Co., this site is now the assembly home of the 2022 Grand Cherokee L and potentially of plug-in hybrid models later within the year. Before becoming the facility it currently is, Mack Avenue used to be in limbo between 1979 and 1990 due to industrial toxins left in the abandoned warehouse. After being demolished in 1995, Chrysler converted it into an engine plant producing 4.7-liter V8 engines and Pentastar V-6 engines from 2000 through 2012. This complex now houses a body shop, a paint shop, and a general assembly building.
Melfi Assembly Plant in Southern Italy
Regarded as the most efficient Stellantis plant in Italy, the Melfi Plant houses the assembly of the 1st Jeep SUV to be exclusively produced outside the U.S. — the Jeep Renegade — and is the second home of the Jeep Compass (alongside the Fiat 500x). The facility was salvaged from bankruptcy during Chrysler’s merger with Italian automaker Fiat in 2014. Subsequently, Jeep decided to move the assembly of all North American and European models of the Jeep Compass from the Belvidere Assembly Plant to this site.
Belvidere Assembly Plant in Belvidere, Illinois
Otherwise referred to as BVAP, this production facility first opened in 1965 and was made to assemble Plymouth, Dodge, and Chrysler C platform vehicles. When Chrysler Group LLC came to fruition, the plant added the Jeep Compass and Jeep Patriot models to its assembly line. Including these two, a total of 18 products have been assembled in this plant until 2016. Then FCA took over and decided to dedicate this site to the production of the Jeep Cherokee crossover from 2017 onward.
Toluca Car Assembly in Mexico
Another location where Jeep Compass vehicles are made is in this 220-acre facility. Opened in 1968, this plant has been one of DaimlerChrysler’s major assembly sites long before the merger with Chrysler Corporation in 1998. it is essentially similar to the Belvidere Plant in that it mostly produced Fiat, Dodge, Plymouth, and Chrysler models before focusing its efforts on the Jeep Compass product line in 2016. To date, the Toluca Plant assembles the Jeep Compass for North and Latin American markets, alongside other facilities in China, India, and Italy.
Goiana Assembly Complex in Pernambuco, Brazil
This assembly complex (a.k.a. the Jeep® Automotive Pole in Pernambuco) is another export hub where the Jeep Renegade and Jeep Compass models are made. It was the most modern assembly plant FCA had at its launch, not to mention the biggest. Concept-wise, it is similar to the mother facility in Ohio since it has a main plant and an adjacent supplier park. And just recently, it has been confirmed as the 1st carbon-neutral industrial complex in Latin America.
The 142-acre site includes:
- R&D facilities.
- An employee training center.
- A 1.5-kilometer test track.
- Almost 23 acres of support buildings.
You will also find a body and paint shop, stamping plant, communication center, and a 12-building supplier park housing suppliers producing 17 component product lines within the complex. Most importantly, the plant has a production capacity of 250,000 vehicles per year and can produce up to three different models simultaneously. Functionally, it is the designated assembly house of both the Renegade and Compass for Latin American and South American markets.
Ranjangaon Joint Venture Plant in Pune, India
The Ranjangaon Assembly Plant is another export hub for the Jeep Compass product line, together with sites in China, Brazil, and Mexico. It officially started operations in June 2017 and has since played an important role as the sole export facility for RHD (right-hand-drive) markets worldwide. Like the Toledo Assembly Complex, the Ranjangaon plant adopted the World Class Manufacturing (WCM) system in all aspects of its vehicle production. There are also plans to include the Jeep Grand Cherokees and Wranglers down the road.
Brampton Assembly in Ontario, Canada
Initially designed for building the Eagle Premier during AMC’s ownership, this plant eventually served as the assembly home for earlier AMC and Jeep vehicles and has done so from 1961 to 1992. But with Chrysler’s takeover of the manufacturing company, products from this facility were changed to Chrysler LH platform cars and their derivatives beginning in June 1992 through 2004. The site currently rolls Chrysler 300, Dodge Challenger, and Dodge Charger off its assembly lines. But it is fondly remembered by Jeep savants as the original home of the first-generation Wranglers before being moved to the Toledo South Assembly Plant in Ohio.
GAC FCA Assembly Plants in China
Facilities in Hunan province and the Panyu District of Guangzhou have been rolling off Jeep Cherokee, Renegade, and Compass vehicles since 2012 and 2015, respectively. These plants were built to have a combined vehicle production capacity of 328,000 units and 220,000 engines per year. There is no online reference to the total number of Jeep vehicles produced from these sites. But due to waning sales caused by the pandemic, Stellantis plans to move unit production of the Jeep Cherokee, Renegade, and Compass to Changsha.
Cordoba Assembly Plant in Santa Isabel, Argentina
Establishing a new plant in Argentina in 1997 was a huge milestone in Chrysler’s expansion program. Back then, the firm only sold 8% of its vehicles outside North America. To raise that proportion to 20%, it had to have an assembly site in one of South America’s emerging markets.
This revisit made perfect sense for former parent company Chrysler Corporation since the old Willys already had a joint venture with the Argentinian government-owned Industrias Kaiser Argentina (IKA) from 1955 to 1977. Within this period, the facility assembled U.S.-imported Jeep CJ-5 components (in standard and long-wheelbase versions) and took care of casting metal and bodywork. This familiarity with Jeep vehicles made the site more than suitable to handle the production of locally made Jeep Cherokees and Grand Cherokees in the country.
Warren Truck Assembly Plant in Warren, Michigan
Known for making trucks since 1938, this 76-acre facility predominantly produced Dodge pickups, vans, and wagons before being completely revamped in 2020. The upgrades done to the plant were in preparation for the unit production of the revived Jeep Wagoneer and Jeep Grand Wagoneer lines. Conversion of the site also included production capacity for heavy-duty Ram pickup trucks – although these versions are currently built in Mexico. At the moment, the Ram 1500 Classic is also sourced from this location.
The Perennial Question: Is Jeep American-made?
According to FiatGroupWorld.com, Stellantis currently has 52 combined facilities (joint venture and self-owned) in 24 different countries. Of these, 12 facilities are involved in the production and export of various Jeep vehicles. While not all Jeep production models are 100% American-made, the Jeep Wrangler, Jeep Gladiator, Jeep Cherokee, and Jeep Grand Cherokee are still produced and assembled within U.S. soil. Conversely, the Jeep Renegade, Jeep Compass, and Jeep Cherokee crossover are assembled mostly in Italy, Brazil, and China.
Conclusion – Where Are Jeeps Made?
Depending on the model or version you are interested in, your Jeep may or may not be made in the U.S. As detailed in this guide, certain models are produced exclusively in markets outside of America. But in truth, where the car is sourced or assembled should not be a concern for the Jeep enthusiast. With Stellantis’ leadership and vision, loyalists are guaranteed the brand’s founding values of freedom, adventure, authenticity, and passion, manifested in every Jeep vehicle’s quality and functionality.