Jeep is a pillar of financial strength for FCA. The brand is poised to deliver its sixth consecutive year of growth. Even if you despise the Compass and Patriot, it would be difficult to argue that Jeep CEO Mike Manley has been anything but a good steward of the brand.
But how is Jeep going to keep its 6,500 UAW members in Toledo working after 2017 when the Cherokee departs and there’s a gaping 240,000 unit hole to fill? Uncertainty over how this gap will be filled, in conjunction with the failure of union negotiators to eliminate the two-tier wage system, were the primary factors in a strong no vote from UAW members in Toledo last week. Nonetheless, FCA has a unique opportunity to address their workforces’ legitimate concern over job security, give consumers what they want, and find new homes for Jeep products across the globe.
After averaging 7500 Wrangler sales in the five Januarys leading up to 2015, Jeep sold 11,683 Wranglers in America last month, a January record for the nameplate.
Record-setting figures are nothing new for the Wrangler, of course. Chrysler Group/FCA broke their annual Wrangler one-year-old sales record by 13,833 units in 2013 and then smashed that with a 19,826-unit, 13% improvement in the 2014 calendar year.
Year-over-year, the pace of U.S. Wrangler sales expansion is even more impressive of late.
Over the last four months, Wrangler sales are up 17%. (Read More…)
A two-pedal Jeep Wrangler might be sacrilege to some, but the next-generation off-roader will be packing an 8-speed automatic for those who don’t want to row their own.
After unwinding their Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing loan program in 2011, the Department of Energy is bringing it back. According to The Detroit News, the focus of this round will be on suppliers, as well as lightweight vehicle technology.
A common complaint among the Best & Brightest is that certain consumer oriented publications don’t get the Jeep Wrangler. America’s sports car, as Enzo Ferrari once labeled it, is unfairly docked for performing poorly on-road, without taking into account that its mission is to excel off-road. Even though I’ve driven off-road precisely twice in my life, I decided to get to the heart of the matter.
The general belief that no genuine Jeep Wrangler alternative sells in anything like the kinds of numbers achieved by the Wrangler is a belief that is completely, wholeheartedly supported by the facts.
With stricter fuel economy standards pushing automakers to reduce vehicle weight, it’s been suggested that the next generation Jeep Wrangler, due in 2016, might come with independent suspension. Solid axles weigh more than independent suspension and the Wrangler has solid axles in both the rear and front of the vehicle. Jeep brand manager Mike Manley hasn’t denied that the next Wrangler may lose the rugged axles that off-roaders love. (Read More…)
Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne may not be fond of changing up his outfits, but he certainly has no problem mixing up product plans. The latest news out of Auburn Hills suggests that Chrysler will be extending the lifespan of some key products for up to another 5 years.
Is the next Jeep Wrangler getting a diesel? What about an air suspension? It’s looking that way, at least according to Automotive News.