FCA U.S. has announced that it has awarded the production of Power Electronics module for the Jeep Wrangler PHEV to its Toledo Machining Plant.
As part of the Capital Markets Day presentation held on June 1 this year, FCA (Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles) committed to expanding its electric drive systems in global architectures spanning its entire range of vehicle segments. Toledo Machining Plant, the 54-year-old facility based in Ohio will play a key role in helping FCA meet future regulatory requirements. The first product born of the new strategy will be the Jeep Wrangler PHEV which is one of the 30 model nameplates FCA intends to electrify by 2022.
Currently, almost 850 Toledo Machining employees produce steering columns and torque converters for a number of FCA production facilities based in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. Toledo Machining was awarded silver status for its excellent results in implementing World Class Manufacturing (WCM) in June 2018. WCM measures a facility's efficiency on the following parameters: eliminating waste, increasing productivity, and improving quality and safety in a systematic and organised manner. Toledo Machining moved up from the Bronze status which it was awarded in September 2016.
“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,” said Brian Harlow, Head of Manufacturing, FCA North America. “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.”
The Power Electronics Module for the Wrangler houses two important powertrain components: the Power Inverter Module and the Integrated Dual Charger Module which consists of an onboard charger and a converter. The Power Electronics module will be packaged in a protective structure placed under the vehicle between the exhaust and the prop-shaft. Toledo Machining is in charge of the assembly of the sub-systems for the module, uploading applicable software for the Power Inverter Module, and final testing and approval of the coolant and electrical systems. Finished modules will be shipped to the Toledo Assembly Complex where the Wrangler PHEV will be assembled.
It looks like FCA is finally rising to the occasion and putting serious thought into introducing electrification to its range of models, whether its own or those of subsidiary brands. The first product, the plug-in hybrid Jeep Wrangler, is sure to raise eyebrows for being a bold choice of a car FCA intends to electrify but has the ability to open up a whole new chapter for both Jeep as well as its parent company.