Vice President Biden Visits Jeep Wrangler Plant
August 23, 2010
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden the home of the legendary Jeep Wrangler: Chrysler Group LLC’s Toledo Assembly Complex (TAC), where he forecast the American automotive industry would again lead in 21st Century, just as it did during much of the 20th Century.
“It’s a long, tough road,” Biden told more than 800 UAW-represented employees at TAC, employees of its supplier partners and elected officials. “But I can say with confidence not only is this industry going to survive, it’s going to thrive.”
The Vice President said the industry is rebuilding itself and that the alliance between Chrysler Group and Fiat has made “incredible” strides in just one year since Chrysler emerged from bankruptcy. He also highlighted the critical role of automotive suppliers both across the industry and specifically at the Chrysler plant, which is building the 2011 Jeep Wrangler in an innovative manufacturing project with three supplier partners.
TAC produces the iconic Jeep Wrangler and Wrangler Unlimited models, which have been rolling off the line as part of a unique manufacturing arrangement since August 2006. Three supplier partners manage and operate major parts of the vehicle production process from neighboring facilities within the Toledo plant area.
Chrysler Group LLC CEO Sergio Marchionne took the Vice President on a tour of the facility’s trim line. Biden stopped at a variety of locations to talk with employees on the line, including windshield, header seal, rear carpet, visor, support bar foam cover and wiper installations.
(Vice President Joe Biden is greeted by Sergio Marchionne, Chrysler Group LLC CEO)
Marchionne thanked Biden and the Obama Administration “for showing faith in the people of Chrysler, in our ability to forge a lasting recovery and to make a positive contribution to society.”
"The model that has been created in Toledo remains unique in the industry and has only succeeded because of the dedicated, disciplined and, of course, flexible team working here,” Marchionne continued. “We thank the UAW, the Toledo workforce and the City of Toledo for making what was just a vision more than five years ago an integral part of our future moving forward."
Biden, whose father owned three dealerships in Wilmington, DE, said he’s long been a Jeep fan.
“Since 1973 there’s been a Jeep parked in my driveway,” said Biden, who noted that the Secret Service doesn’t let the President or Vice President drive. But if he could drive, Biden said motioning to the new 2011 Jeep Wrangler near the stage next to him: “I’d take that black Wrangler around the corner there.”