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Jeep is Hiring Temporary Workers to Help Meet Demand for 2024 Jeep Wranglers

I reported yesterday that Jeep is having employees work mandatory overtime to try to make up for lost production of its most popular model.

Jeep is confirming that it is hiring some temporary workers to try and meet the worldwide demand for the 2024 Jeep Wrangler. The UAW has told the Toledo Blade that the plant will have to work mandatory overtime throughout the month of May to make up for production that was lost because of a parts shortage. As I reported yesterday, the management at the Jeep facility is using an emergency clause in the UAW contract to have employees work mandatory overtime to meet demand for the popular 2024 Jeep Wrangler and Jeep Wrangler 4xe. Jeep didn’t give a breakdown of how many gas-powered or 4xe PHEVs that it needs to build to catch up, only that it needs to make up for over 2,200 lost vehicles.  

Jeep Trying to Meet Worldwide Demand

All of the Jeep Wranglers sold globally come out of the Jeep complex in Toledo, Ohio. The Jeep Gladiators are made there as well. The Wrangler is Jeep’s most popular vehicle. Plant management is having employees work mandatory ten-hour shifts and work seven days a week. The workers get paid for the extra hours, but many resent the mandatory grueling work. Jeep lost the ability to build more than 2,200 Jeep Wranglers during the recent parts shortage. The plant is now trying to make up for the lost production as quickly as possible. Word is that the plant is also moving an entire shift of Gladiator workers over to Wrangler production until they can get caught up. The UAW is not saying how many temporary workers are being hired to help the plant meet demand, however, it believes the extra overtime will continue through at least May.

Jeep is Fighting to Keep its Off-Road Dominance

Jeep made a number of upgrades in its 2024 Wrangler versions to fight off competition from the Ford Bronco. New for 2024, Wranglers will come with dozens of trail guides loaded into the infotainment system. Trails Offroad delivers comprehensive off-road trail guides for the 62 Jeep Badge of Honor trails. It will be pre-loaded right into the Uconnect 5 system. Buyers can also upgrade with a subscription that unlocks 3,000-plus Trails Offroad trail guides.

Wrangler Expands Feature Called Off Road+

The new 2024 Jeep Wrangler expands availability of Off Road+ from Rubicon gas models to Rubicon 4xe, Willys 4xe and Willys gas models. Optimizing vehicle parameters for off roading, including throttle, transmission shift points and traction control, Off Road+ delivers peak performance on any trail. When used in 4HI, Off Road+ optimizes settings for higher-speed conditions, such as sand and mud, and also allows the Tru-Lok rear electronic locking differential to be locked for improved performance. In 4LO, Off Road+ optimizes settings for low-speed conditions such as rock crawling.

2024 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon

New for the 2024, the Jeep brand is making sure its Wrangler Rubicon screams that it is capable of taking on even the most difficult trails. The 2024 Rubicon will feature its first full-float Dana rear axle. Full-floating axles provide a number of benefits. They allow the vehicle to carry more weight but probably most important, in this case, they allow the vehicle to have much larger tires. If the driver is doing something terribly rugged and breaks an axle, the vehicle should still be drivable to get you off the trail.

Another feature new for 2024, buyers can order a Warn winch straight from the factory. That means the cost can be built into the overall loan, you don’t have to buy it outright later and have it added. The 2024 Wrangler Rubicon will also have increased 5,000-pound best-in-class tow capability. Apparently, buyers are responding and now Jeep is working overtime to try and meet demand. Jeep didn’t give a breakdown of how many gas-powered or 4xes that it needs to build to catch up, only that it needs to make up for over 2,000 lost vehicles.

No Word on How Long the Mandatory Overtime Will Last

At this point, Jeep isn’t saying how long the mandatory overtime will stay in place. Although it is expensive for automakers to pay overtime, they often do it to avoid having to take on temporary workers. There are new rules, in the UAW contract, about how long the plants can use temporary workers until they must make them full-time employees. Many of the automakers are trying to avoid having to make temps full-time. The fact that Jeep is hiring temps to speed up production is a sign of how valuable the Wrangler is to Jeep’s bottom line. We do know that the Wranglers are selling, and Jeep will make every effort to fill every order the company has.

Stellantis spokesperson Jodi Tinson is quoted as saying “To ensure it has enough inventory to make timely deliveries to its customers, the Toledo Assembly Complex will be temporarily adjusting its operating pattern to recover the lost volume,” Ms. Tinson said. “It is expected that this action will last until the end of May.”

However, as we have seen with truck production in the past, if demand stays strong, overtime could continue into the summer.

Jeep Photo

Mary Conway is a professional automotive journalist and has decades of experience specializing in automotive news analysis. She covered the Detroit Three for more than twenty years for the ABC affiliate, in Detroit. Her affection for the Motor City comes naturally. Her father ran a gas station while Mary was growing up, in Wisconsin.

Follow Mary Conway at @MaryConwayMedia and send her car news tips for future stories.


Abused Stellan… (not verified)    May 5, 2024 - 2:38PM

There should be an article written about how Stellantis laid off 341 Supplemental Employees (SEs) at the same Jeep Toledo Assembly Complex (TAC), then an additional 50 Supplemental Employees at Jeep TAC, forcing these SEs to lose their invested time in (some well up to 3+ years), lost the opportunity for rolling over into Full Time employees after the contract ratification despite them being the 1st Stellantis plant to strike for 44 days, and losing their health coverage for themselves and their dependents. Despite both Ford and GM giving their Supplemental Employees profit Sharing, Stellantis did not. Now these same laid off (terminated) Supplemental Employees are being called back to help a company that didn't care for them when they laid them off indefinitely. Stellantis wants the benefits of workers who are experienced in the jobs, but doesn't want to do right by them. Stellantis and any other company that ethically mistreats and abuses its workers should be boycotted, not supported.