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Posts Tagged ‘jeep cherokee’

What’s Gone Wrong With Jeep?

Iconic brand’s sales tumble – but is it just a temporary glitch or long-term setback?

by on Jul.27, 2017

A Jeep Cherokee body rolls down the newly renovated line at the Belvidere plant.

It is one of the most iconic automotive brands on the market and, until recently, Jeep could be counted on to deliver sales growth and a steady stream of profits to parent Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.

So, what has gone wrong this year? Jeep volume was down 13% for the first half of the year, with the numbers off 11% in June, and another year-over-year slide expected to be revealed when July numbers are tallied up next week. While FCA reported strong second-quarter profits on Thursday, it took a solid performance by the maker’s other brands, including Maserati, to offset Jeep’s weak numbers.

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The question is whether Jeep’s setback is a temporary one or something that could hurt it longer-term. The real test will come in the months ahead, especially once renovation work on the Jeep plant in Toledo, Ohio is completed and production of the brand’s next-generation flagship Wrangler model begins.

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FCA Set to Wind Down Passenger Car Production

Trucks Moving in at two current sedan plants.

by on May.09, 2016

The Jeep Crew Chief concept reveals some "hints" of a production Jeep pickup to come.

With pickups, utility vehicles and vans now capturing about 60% of the U.S. market, automakers are struggling to shift production to match consumer demand, in some cases dropping once-popular passenger car models and refitting plants to produce light truck lines.

Nowhere is that shift becoming more apparent than at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. At least two of the maker’s sedans will soon head off to the junkyard, making room for expanded production of updated and possibly all-new pickups and SUVs.

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At least two plants will be impacted by the shift at the trans-Atlantic automaker, including one in Belvidere, Illinois and another in the Detroit suburb of Sterling Heights where 3,000 workers have been on temporary layoff due to slow sales of the Chrysler 200 since early this year. Nearly half will be put on indefinite layoff in July, likely for as much as two years.

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Fiat Chrysler Earnings Hold Steady as Maker Prepares to Spin Off Ferrari

Investors quickly warm to news.

by on Oct.29, 2014

Sergio Marchionne may have reason to smile as investors finally begin bidding up FCA stock.

Now officially merged, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles said its third-quarter earnings were roughly in line with last year’s numbers.

Though that was essentially what analysts had anticipated, the automaker delivered a surprise by announcing it will spin off its iconic Ferrari brand – just months after CEO Sergio Marchionne appeared to indicate such a move wasn’t in the works.

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The decision “will preserve the cherished Italian heritage” of Ferrari, said a statement from FCA Chairman John Elkann. Ferrari has been facing a fair bit of turmoil lately after the ouster of its long-time chief executive and its unexpectedly poor performance in the popular Formula One racing series.

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Small is Big as Jeep Unveils New Renegade

New ute could become Jeep's best-seller.

by on Mar.04, 2014

The Jeep Renegade makes its Geneva debut.

Big things come in small packages, or so Jeep is hoping as it enters one of the world’s fastest-growing market segments with the new compact Jeep Renegade which is making its public debut at the 2014 Geneva Auto Show.

Using an all-new platform and a mix of 16 different powertrain packages targeting different markets, Jeep is counting on the Renegade to give it some much-needed momentum as it presses forward with its global expansion plan.

The Renegade, explains Jeep CEO Mike Manley, “will act as an entryway to our brand.”

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Manley is so confident about that  global expansion that he is boosting Jeep’s sale forecast for 2014 from the original target of 800,000 to a full1 million.  And it could grow even faster if Jeep can soon wrap up plans to launch production in China, the world’s largest automotive market. Significantly, the new Renegade will be assembled in Italy, at Fiat’s Melfi plant — and will be exported, eventually, to about 100 countries.

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Jeep Eyes Scaling 1 Million Sales Mountain by 2015

Sorting out long-term Wrangler plans key to Jeep future.

by on Jan.14, 2014

Jeep is planning on sales of the Cherokee and Grand Cherokee to remain strong as it attempts to surpass 1 million units by 2015. Photo credit: Len Katz.

Jeep has set its sights on selling more than 1 million vehicles annually by the end of 2015 and is also putting in motion a revolution that will help broaden its global reach and remake its product portfolio.

Fiat/Chrysler chairman Sergio Marchionne said this week that the company’s executives and board of directors will make several decisions in the next few months that will have a major impact the Jeep brand. A key issue waiting final approval from top management: the plan for the next generation Jeep Wrangler.

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The Wrangler is an iconic vehicle that’s perennially in short supply and has unique characteristics. (more…)

Despite Setbacks, Jeep Sets a Global Sales Record

Sales surge despite Cherokee launch delays.

by on Jan.07, 2014

Despite a slow start of production with the Jeep Cherokee, Jeep sales set a new record.

Despite the painfully long delays in launching production of the new Cherokee model, sales of Chrysler’s Jeep brand products hit an all-time global sales record for the second year in a row.

Jeep, the cornerstone of Fiat/Chrysler chief executive officer Sergio Marchionne plans to remake the Italian-American automaker , delivered 731,565 vehicles across the globe, beating the previous record of 701,626 established in 2012.

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Ever since taking over management of Chrysler after its 2009 bankruptcy, Marchionne has been keen to exploit the potential of the Jeep brand, which he has noted has a strong reputation around the world but which needed the broader distribution network that Fiat could provide.

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GM Approaching Record Sales Figures in China

Fiat/Chrysler expected to start production of Jeep Cherokee in Guangzhou.

by on Dec.05, 2013

GM's China operations are approaching the 3-million unit mark in sales for 2013: a new record.

General Motors reported its sales in China, now the company’s largest market, increased 13% in November as the company edged closer to its goals of selling 3 million vehicles to Chinese customers in a single year.

As GM is pushing toward a new record, other makers, such as Fiat SpA and the Chrysler Group, are renewing their efforts to take advantage of the growth in China. Ford, a late entrant, has committed billions of dollars to grow in China as well with impressive results to show for that investment.

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During November, GM and its joint-venture partners sold a record 294,500 vehicles in China November and is just 115,000 vehicles short of the 3-million unit mark even as key rivals, such as Ford and Mercedes-Benz, expanded their Chinese operations and sales. (more…)

Chrysler Group Shipping 2014 Jeep Cherokees to Dealers

After delay, new Liberty replacement coming to showrooms.

by on Oct.22, 2013

Jeep dealers were anxiously waiting for Chrysler to ship the 2014 Cherokee, but they should begin arriving in showrooms within 10 days.

Jeep Cherokee devotees as well as Jeep dealers across the country are breathing a sigh of relief as Chrysler Group will begin shipping the Liberty replacement to showrooms. They should begin arriving in large numbers within 10 days.

The company has built 23,000 Cherokees since production began on June 24.

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“Jeep dealers will breathe a sigh of relief that the Cherokee’s launch delay appears to be coming to an end,” said Tim Fleming, analyst at Kelley Blue Book. “Excluding the discontinued Liberty, Jeep sales have been on a roll this year, up 16%, and the Cherokee gives Jeep another player in the red-hot small crossover space. (more…)

Spy Shots: Jeep’s Jeepster

Jeep rocks out with new entry-model.

by on Oct.21, 2013

A Jeepster mule undergoing testing. Photo by: Jim Dunne, CARSPY.

If you’re a rock fan, the name might bring to mind an old song by the British band T. Rex.  Others, might recall the 1998 concept vehicle that introduced the name Jeepster. What sort of tune you’ll sing likely will depend upon your reaction to this spy shot.

The Jeepster name actually has been around for some time, fans of the off-road brand will recall, dating back to the Willys-Overland Jeepster from 1948, a model described as the auto industry’s last true phaeton design.  The name was revived in 1966 on the AMC Jeepster Commando. And, what with the Cherokee badge returning to the Jeep line-up, it appears the maker is ready to dig even deeper into its archives.

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Designed to take the Jeep brand even more down-market than the current Compass model, this concept is, at least for now, being referred to internally as the Jeepster, though it remains to be seen if the name will stick when it goes into production.  But one thing seems certain, the concept suggests that Jeep is continuing a dramatic design shift that comes as part of parent Chrysler’s marriage to the Italian automaker Fiat SpA.

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Chrysler Slashes Production of new 2014 Jeep Cherokee

Maker wants to reduce “strain on logistics partners.”

by on Sep.24, 2013

The 2014 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk picks up the maker's rugged Trail Rated badge.

In an unexpected move, Chrysler is slashing production of the all-new 2014 Jeep Cherokee, idling about 500 workers for at least the next two weeks.

The Cherokee brings back an old name for a new vehicle, the 2014 crossover-utility vehicle replacing the old Jeep Liberty that has been out of production for nearly a year as Chrysler invested millions in retooling its big assembly line in Toledo, Ohio.

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“We have been producing vehicles since the end of June and have now built the critical number of vehicles we need to stock dealerships once containment is released,” Chrysler said in a statement e-mailed to TheDetroitBureau.com. “We will temporarily idle the second shift so as not to put additional strain on our logistics partners to get these vehicles into the hands of customers as quickly and efficiently as possible upon release.”

(Chrysler files for IPO. Click Here for the complete story.)

The press release suggests that the issue is based on shipping issues, rather than problems with the 2014 Jeep Cherokee itself – though CEO Sergio Marchionne noted in July that Chrysler was delaying shipment of the vehicles already built due to problems with the Cherokee’s new 9-speed automatic transmission.

Chrysler never fully explained that issue, though it appeared to be working to find the best balance between comfort and fuel-economy using the industry’s first 9-speed gearbox. The problem forced it to delay the first media test drive of the 2014 Jeep Cherokee for nearly a month.

(For TheDetroitBureau.com’s first drive of the Cherokee, Click Here.)

The temporary shutdown affects about 500 workers on the second shift at the Toledo Assembly Complex, though Chrysler will keep some on the job performing test drives of the new crossover-utility vehicles – which might suggest that it is still not fully satisfied with the earlier fix of the Cherokee’s transmission.

But a report in the Toledo Blade newspaper quotes a union official who insisted the production cuts are “not (due to) a problem with the vehicle itself.”

Chrysler is clearly being cautious with the launch of the 2014 Jeep Cherokee. The old Liberty was a relatively marginal and low-volume product. With the new crossover Chrysler hopes to become a much more mainstream player in the fast-growing compact CUV segment.

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