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Posts Tagged ‘jeep news’

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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Beyond the Headlines!

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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Settle or Sue: U.S. Ready to Take on FCA Over Diesel Rigging Allegations

Automaker accused of using “defeat device” to meet emissions mandates.

by on May.18, 2017

The Ram 1500 turbodiesel has won a number of awards - but the EPA claims it was rigged to pass emissions tests.

The U.S. Justice Department has reportedly given Fiat Chrysler Automobiles an ultimatum: either settle allegations it rigged its diesel models to illegally pass U.S. emissions tests or be hit with a lawsuit.

With the Euro-American automaker so far fiercely challenging those claims by the government, a civil suit could be filed as early as this week, according to a report by the Reuters news service.

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Breaking News!

The automaker says it sees the threat of litigation as “counterproductive,” adding that it “will defend itself vigorously” in court, if necessary. But whether it will now back down is uncertain considering FCA management will need to weigh the potential damages – both in terms of legal costs and possible fines and penalties, as well as the hit to its image the automaker could face.

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Unwrapping the 2018 Jeep Wrangler

Back to basics...but some modern touches.

by on May.12, 2017

A thinly camo'd 2018 Jeep Wrangler.

The new Jeep Wrangler is one of the most eagerly awaited models due to debut for the 2018 model-year, but the automaker isn’t saying much about the first complete makeover of the iconic SUV in more than a decade.

It’s not quite a red cape, but Jeep has been teasing Wrangler fans by placing what appears to be the next-generation SUV out front of its Toledo, Ohio assembly plant. The problem? It’s covered in a big white sheet. So, we asked our spy photographer Jim Dunne to try to capture images of what’s underneath.

The Last Word!

While these three shots of what is internally codenamed JL still leave some details covered up by camouflage, they offer the best look we’ve had, to date, of the 2018 Jeep Wrangler, and while the basic shape carries over some of the boxy cues that fans have long loved, there are some key updates that appear to bring the next Wrangler into the modern era.

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Is FCA Ready to Sell Off Jeep and Ram?

Marchionne's casual comment raises questions about carmaker’s future.

by on Apr.27, 2017

The most powerful SUV on the market, the 707 hp Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk.

It was the sort of casual comment that many of those listening in on the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles earnings conference call just might have missed, but a single word from FCA Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne could signal some massive changes to come.

For several years, the CEO has made no effort to hide his interest in finding a partner for the smallest of the Detroit-based automakers. During a call with analysts and reporters to discuss FCA’s strong first-quarter earnings Marchionne was asked if his strategy might even include the idea of selling off the company’s crown jewels, the Jeep and Ram brands.

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The Big Picture!

“Yes,” Marchionne said, before moving on to other topics. And, curiously, those on the call let the subject drop without a single follow-up query.

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Jeep’s 707-hp Grand Cherokee Trackhawk Revealed

Set to debut in NY alongside Dodge Demon.

by on Apr.10, 2017

The most powerful SUV on the market, the 707 hp Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is planning a high-powered preview at the New York International Auto Show later week, the Euro-American automaker set to debut two of the most powerful vehicles ever to roll off an American assembly line.

While FCA is waiting for its Wednesday news conference to provide complete details about the Dodge Demon, the muscle car it has been teasing in recent weeks, the maker did pull the covers back on the new Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk.

Performance News!

In what might actually seem something of an understatement, Jeep chief Mike Manley suggested that with its 707-horsepower V-8, the Trackhawk delivers “astounding performance numbers.” But Manley also stressed that the new Jeep is more than just the SUV equivalent of a classic muscle car, promising it also offers “luxury, refinement and an array of innovative advanced technology.”

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Jeep Goes Forward into the Past with Latest Moab Concepts

Seven concepts head out onto the trail.

by on Mar.30, 2017

The Jeep Switchback is meant to highlight the range of parts in the Mopar catalog.

Forget the Easter Bunny and all those chocolate eggs. If you’re an off-road fan, you know the real sign of spring comes with Jeep’s yearly trek out to Moab. And for the 51st annual Easter Jeep Safari, the Fiat Chrysler brand is blending together some future and some retro designs.

Among those looking forward into the past, the CJ66 pulls us back to the days of old by borrowing frame, body and components from a variety of different, classic CJ Jeeps – otherwise known as the Wrangler. The Grand One Concept, meanwhile, starts out as a 1993 Grand Cherokee before undergoing an extensive list of more modern modifications.

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The Full Story!

“It’s truly a labor of love for the Jeep team to develop exciting, capable concept vehicles each year for Moab and the Easter Jeep Safari,” said Mike Manley, the head of Jeep Brand, as the seven new concepts were unveiled. “We look forward to the reaction and feedback from enthusiasts and our most loyal customers as these new Jeep concepts are put through their paces on the trails in Moab.”

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Is This Concept Toyota’s Answer to the Ford Bronco?

Japanese maker confirms plans to debut FT-4X at New York Auto Show.

by on Mar.29, 2017

Toyota drops a hint of what it has coming at next month's New York International Auto Show.

Rumors have been buzzing since last autumn, when Toyota registered the new trademark, FT-4X. What might that be used for? The initial inklings suggested it would likely show up on a light truck, perhaps the replacement for the old FJ Cruiser, dropped after the 2014 model-year.

The Japanese maker is now confirming a concept using that badge will make its debut at the New York International Auto Show next month, and from the teaser image accompanying that terse announcement, it’s safe to assume the show car will be some form of utility vehicle.

Auto Show News!

But what type of ute does Toyota have in mind? A “soft-roader,” ala the RAV4, seems unlikely. The betting would suggest that the new Toyota FJ-4X will be a serious off-roader, perhaps even something opting for a body-on-frame design, that would take aim at the likes of the new Ford Bronco or next-generation Jeep Wrangler.

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First Drive: 2017 Jeep Compass

All-new crossover lives up to Jeep's off-road reputation.

by on Feb.27, 2017

The 2017 Jeep Compass replaces the previous generation model as well as the Patriot.

Any vehicle carrying the Jeep nameplate is expected to maintain the brand’s reputation for off-road capability even when chances are it is going to spend most of life on city or suburban streets, local highways and maybe on an occasional gravel road.

The all-new 2017 Jeep Compass certainly maintains the brand’s character. The 4×4 Trailhawk version of the Compass will certainly wade over rocks with the best of them and even 4×2 version of the can ford a shallow river with ease and style.

Reviews You Can Trust!

The new Jeep compact crossover utility vehicle is now replacing the older version of the Compass and the Patriot, which were more or less grafted onto the Jeep model line several years ago thanks to some clever work by engineers and designers. As crossover vehicles became steadily more popular, the Compass and Patriot accounted for a substantial chunk of the sales the compact CUV segment even though purists insisted they really didn’t have an authentic Jeep pedigree. (more…)

Jeep Sales Likely to Flatten This Year

Retooling in U.S. may cost some sales while China, Brazil expected to be strong.

by on Feb.22, 2017

FCA is moving production of the Jeep Cherokee from Ohio to Illinois as part of its production overhaul.

After a long run up in sales, Jeep sales in the United States will probably be flat or down slightly this years as Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. pulls back from sales to rental car fleet and moves through a series of new product launches that require closing key plants for model changes.

However, Mike Manley, head of Jeep Brand, also said that the Jeep brand could still post a modest sales increase in Europe, China and South America, particularly in Brazil.

Product News!

In China, for example, sales of Jeep branded vehicles increased by 131% last years to more than 147,000 vehicles. Manley said he expects another big increase in Jeep sales in China this year since it will have three different vehicles, the Cherokee, the Renegade and the new Compass, available for Chinese customers. Jeep will also have the capacity to build 350,000 units in China and could build more as demand increases. (more…)

FCA Laying Off 3,200 Employees in Toledo as Plant Transformation Begins

Marchionne's master plan being put into action.

by on Feb.16, 2017

FCA is moving production of the Jeep Cherokee from Ohio to Illinois as part of its production overhaul.

This story has been updated with new information.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles plans to lay off more than 3,000 hourly workers as moves into the next stage of its manufacturing transformation, shifting car production to plants outside of the U.S., and allowing U.S. plants to build the company’s more profitable trucks and SUVs.

FCA expects to temporarily lay off 3,200 workers starting in April as it begins $700 million retooling of a plant in Toledo, Ohio, to build the next-generation Wrangler.  The workers will be laid off for up to six months, according to documents the company filed with the city and the state, and reported by the (Toledo) Blade.

We're Your Automotive News Source!

The layoffs were not a surprise, Jodi Tinson, an FCA spokesperson, told the Detroit Free Press. The plant currently produces the Jeep Cherokee and needed to end Cherokee production in Toledo in an adjacent plant and prepare for production of a new Wrangler there.  (more…)