Production of the new JL-generation Wrangler began late last year, but Jeep kept churning out the old JK for a few months afterwards. On Friday, the last JK Wrangler, a white Rubicon Unlimited, rolled off the line at Jeep's Toledo, Ohio plant and into Fiat Chrysler's collection. This car caps JK Wrangler production at an incredible 2,165,678 units since it debuted in 2006.
That the last JK Wrangler is a four-door is quite appropriate. As great stories from and separately point out, the four-door Unlimited helped transform the Wrangler from niche offering to one of Jeep's most popular products. With the addition of rear doors, the Wrangler was suddenly a practical car in the eyes of tons of buyers.
Sales of the JK just kept adding up over its 12-year production run, with peaking in 2015 with over 200,000 units. Seeing sales like that years into a car's life is highly unusual in this business, and a lot of that is thanks to the four-door, and speciality models like the Rubicon which kept things fresh. All that, the rugged appeal of the Wrangler.
The JK Wrangler is a big part of why Jeep is one of Fiat Chrysler's crown jewels today, and the admittedly much improved JL looks to continue where the JK left off.
Now that JK production has ended at Toledo, Jeep is retooling the factory for the arrival of the Wrangler Pickup. Jeep says production of the Wrangler Pickup will begin in early 2019, and we expect to see it make its debut late this year.