General Motors Discussing Jeep Wrangler Challenger For GMC
Remember when we told you about GMC’s Duncan Aldred wanting a “professional-grade” Jeep Wrangler? General Motors thinks it’s a good idea, too.
The Wall Street Journal reports GM recently sought feedback from its dealers regarding the market viability of a Wrangler challenger joining GMC’s lineup of trucks, crossovers and SUVs, the idea of which has been “kicked around real hard” according to one insider. The automaker’s growing interest comes as 150,000 units of the iconic vehicle left for the Rubicon or college in 2014, some of them going for as much as $50,000 fresh out of Ohio. The Wrangler also boasts one of the highest resale values around, second only to the Toyota Tacoma in 2015 per Kelley Blue Book.
As for what a GMC Wrangler would look like, GM said its Jeep would take cues from Hummer’s orphaned offerings; Hummer joined Pontiac, Saturn and Saab in the afterlife back in 2009 during the dark days of the Great Recession. The new model — still in the discussion phase without a name or a green light — would also help GMC capitalize on the brand’s own success, with sales rising 11 percent on the backs of the Sierra and Yukon in 2014 to 501,853.
The next Wrangler, regardless of what they do in terms of roof setup (changes required to meet some new standards), it will benefit greatly simply by adding some of the Chrysler parts bin items. 8.4 UConnect/TFT combo, ZF8-speed Auto on the Pentastar V6, and some interior design pieces from the latest Jeeps/Dodges would help quite a bit to sell to the on-the-fence Wrangler lovers who want a more polished grocery getter/soccer practice duty vehicle. The people who buy them for those reasons are the people that are feeding Jeep the $$$s to continue the Wrangler evolution, not the 10% of offroaders that purchase them. This would be greatly expedited by a GM play to try and hop on board this train.
Gm doesn't have the cajones to bring out a wrangler competitor. Solid axles, bof, removable top, breakover angles, and aftermarket support to last the next 100 years means there is only one wrangler. Gm should instead try to fill the void left by the real cherokee, small boxy unibody offroad oriented solid axle SUV.
Tough to classify this idea. On one hand, you're taking on an vehicular institution with a vast empire of ancillary support businesses, particularly custom parts makers. Furthermore, the key to the Wrangler's success is the glorious lack of sophistication. Simple parts and simple components allow for customization and upgrade. On the other hand, CAFE has put a bounty on the Wrangler's head because the current two-door JK will never achieve 37mpg. If no exception is granted for the Wrangler, the hardcore offroad segment will be up for grabs. However, I'm inclined to believe that the death of iconic offroad vehicles will kill the entire segment, rather than deliver a bounty to the most innovative company. Personally, I'd rather see the Wrangler become a kit car than see it turned into another KL Cherokee.
I think GM needs to create its own market segment rater than compete with the wrangler Toyota which has a great off road legacy has canceled the FJ but come out with the 4 door 4 runner trade pro in addition to the taco trade pro making them the most capable vehicles in their class. Many off road vehicles will be impossible to out sell simply cause they where the first and gained a massive cult following GM will not be able to com out with a raptor fighter as most people who needed that kind of truck like my self switched from GM to Ford already and aren't looking back. As are power Wagon Owners, TRD Pro owners and Wrangler owners. GM needs to create a market segment like Ford did with the Raptor , because you would have to be a complete gm Fan boy to boy a Gm version of a Wrangler over the Jeep version, between the parts and aftermarket support most hard core off roaders will buy a jeep.