You’ve probably heard of Ferrari Tailor Made (and other programs like it) where prospective owners go to make their (already quite special) cars even more so, crafting one-of-a-kind creations with special details and unique paint schemes. It looks like Jeep is working on its own version of the concept. How do we know? A deal between Fiat Chrysler and the city of Toledo for a plot of land that will be used for a customization facility was announced on Friday.
According to The Toledo Blade, the city of Toledo will sell FCA a plot of land just a few miles from Jeep’s assembly plant there (where the Wrangler and Gladiator are currently built). The sale price? A measly $1, as an incentive for FCA’s investment in the community. FCA, in turn, plans to build a 250,000-square-foot facility that will be operated by an unknown supplier and will employ more than 300 people.
In exchange for the extremely low sale price of the land, the city of Toledo plans to authorize tax increment financing (TIF) for the property before the sale goes through. That will allow the city to invest the increased property tax revenue to fund other projects and pay off the bond it took out to purchase the disused land in the first place. The city spent a total of $6.8 million to buy the land, demolish the buildings that sat on it, and do environmental cleanup, which is $6,799,999 more than Jeep is paying for the same plot. Toledo’s commissioner of economic development said that, with the help of the TIF, the city should recoup those costs after 12 years. This jargon may all seem boring, but that recovery is important for the residents of the city of Toledo and for the city itself.
While the deal for the land doesn’t necessarily guarantee that a Jeep customization facility will happen, or even which vehicles it might cover, we know for sure that, if it does come to fruition, we’ll see it within the next four years. Jeeps already enjoy extensive aftermarket support, to say nothing of Mopar’s extensive line of dealer-available hop-up parts and accessories, and so it comes as no surprise that FCA wants a bigger piece of that pie—and even more cash from Jeepers keen on individualizing their rides from the factory.