Jeep introduced the 2018 Wrangler JL at the Los Angeles Auto Show last year but the company has been keeping the previous model in production to keep up with demand.
That’s ending today as the last Wrangler JK rolled off the assembly line in Toledo, Ohio. While the model didn’t change much over the course of its 12 year run, the Wrangler JK will go down in history as one of the most successful Jeep vehicles ever produced.
The last model was a white Wrangler Rubicon Unlimited and it is just one of the more than 2.1 million Wrangler JKs that have been produced. The JK went into production in 2006 and was an instant hit as Carsalesbase data shows the company sold 119,243 units in its first full year on the market. Sales trickled off during the great recession but eventually rebounded in 2011. Four year later, Jeep managed to sell over 200,000 units in the United States.
A lot of the Wrangler’s success can be chalked up two things. The JK was the first Wrangler to be available as a four-door and this massively increased its mainstream appeal. The second and most obvious reason is changing consumer preferences. Americans are buying crossovers, trucks and SUVs in increasing numbers and the Wrangler definitely benefited from this trend.
The Wrangler’s influence can also be seen outside of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles as Ford is finally bringing back the Bronco. The company teased the model last month and it looks like it is aimed directly at the Wrangler.
While production of the Wrangler JK has ended, the Toledo Supplier Park will now gear up to produce the long-awaited Jeep Scrambler. FCA confirmed the truck will be launched early next year and it will become the spiritual successor of the CJ-8 Scrambler which went out of production over 30 years ago.