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Posts Tagged ‘jeep wrangler’

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.


Jeep Will Keep Wrangler Production in Toledo, Add New Wrangler-Based Picked

But maker will relocate production of popular Cherokee model.

by on Sep.02, 2015

The question has been answered: Jeep is re-entering the truck market with the Wrangler-based truck.

After a long debate that put thousands of jobs at risk, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has decided to retain production of the next-generation Jeep Wrangler in Toledo, Ohio. And CEO Sergio Marchionne confirmed that the maker will add a long-rumored, Wrangler-based pickup to the Jeep line-up.

But Toledo did get one setback in its bid to maintain its long-standing role as Jeep’s ancestral home. FCA will now move production of the Cherokee model to another, as yet-unspecified plant. The compromise follows an intense round of negotiations by Toledo and Ohio officials who struggled to help the automaker reduce costs and update the Toledo plant to handle what will be a radically redesigned version of the ever-popular Wrangler.

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“We found a solution that accommodates a variety of other interests to us because of the way in which we can move some product around,” Marchionne told trade publication Automotive News. “It doesn’t take a rocket scientist (to know) that the only way I can move around the Wrangler is to move it into the other Toledo plant.” (more…)

Jeep Expects to Hit 1.2 Million in Sales in 2015

Company struggles with Wrangler production issues.

by on Jun.29, 2015

FCA is struggling with what to do about increasing the production capacity of the Wrangler's long-time home plant in Toledo, Ohio.

Sales of Jeep-branded vehicles are on track to hit roughly 1.2 million this year, according to the FCA U.S. executive responsible for the nameplate.

Michael Manley, president of the Jeep brand, noted that Jeep sales have increased by 20% so far this year, after topping 1 million units for the first time ever in 2014. The plants belonging to FCA U.S., formerly the Chrysler Group, building vehicles such as the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Wrangler are having difficulty keeping up with the demand from customers, he told reporters at the company’s proving grounds in Chelsea, Michigan.

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Sales of the Jeep Cherokee, which was introduced last year, and the sales of the Jeep Renegade introduced this past spring are also doing well in the U.S. The Renegade is proving very popular with European customers and sales of other Jeep products also remain strong in Europe. (more…)

Four of Seven Midsize Utes Fare Poorly in Crash Tests

Only Nissan Murano takes IIHS Top Safety Pick Plus rating.

by on May.12, 2015

The Nissan Murano slams into a barrier as part of the IIHS small overlap crash test.

Only three of the seven midsize SUVs scored well in a series of front-end crash tests designed to simulate real-world accidents.

And only one of the 2015 models, the Nissan Murano, earned the coveted Top Safety Pick Plus rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, though the Ford Flex and Jeep Wrangler also passed the small overlap crash test designed to simulate what happens when a vehicle’s corner clips another car or a utility pole.

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The test has posed some serious challenges for manufacturers and has led to a number of vehicle redesigns since it was first used in 2012. In the small overlap test, 25% of a vehicle’s front end strikes a barrier at 40 mph.


Pickup, Plug-in Hybrid Appear on Jeep’s Horizons

Maker looks for new options, new models as it aims to double sales.

by on Mar.19, 2015

The shape of things to come? The Jeep Wrangler Red Rock Responder concept could be followed - eventually - by a production Wrangler pickup.

Looking to nearly double global sales by 2018 – while also having to address increasingly stringent emissions and fuel economy standards — Jeep is looking at a variety of product and powertrain options that could include a new pickup as well as the brand’s first plug-in hybrid, revealed CEO Mike Manley.

Jeep recently launched its smallest model, the new Renegade, and is gaining momentum in markets as diverse as Beijing and Berlin. It is adding new factory capacity in Europe, Asia and Latin America, and is set to make a critical decision about future production at its ancestral home in Toledo, Ohio.

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It is “a transformational year,” said Manley, during a preview of seven concept SUVs Jeep will take out onto the trails during its annual Easter Safari in Moab, Utah.


First Drive: 2015 Jeep Renegade

Little SUV delivers big performance on road and off.

by on Jan.23, 2015

The 2015 Jeep Renegade builds on Jeep’s heritage. It has the Wrangler-inspired round headlights and a seven-slot grille.

The Jeep Renegade is one of the most important vehicles the Jeep brand has launched, well since last year when it introduced the Cherokee. But it’s vital to Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, which is eager to emerge as a truly global company.

The launch of the Renegade also means FCA has to show it can take the secret sauce that has made the Jeep brand popular over the years in the U.S. and transform it into a truly global brand. It also certainly means that the Renegade also has to show that it can live up to the brand’s reputation for agility and capability when the pavement ends.

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My distinct impression, after driving the Renegade, both on road and off is that the Renegade measures up to the other vehicles in the Jeep portfolio. The only difference is that the Renegade is smaller. (more…)

Jeep Invading Easter Safari in Utah with Modded 4x4s

Three Wranglers bring Cherokee siblings for first time.

by on Apr.11, 2014

Jeep Wrangler MOJO is one of the six concept vehicles developed by the Jeep and Mopar brands for the 48th Annual Moab Easter Jeep Safari.

Jeep is rolling into Moab, Utah, for the 48th annual Easter Jeep Safari with six new concept vehicles, including for the first time two Cherokees and a Grand Cherokee, for enthusiasts to pore over and give a thumbs up or down.

The three Wranglers, two Cherokees and one Grand Cherokee are laden with Jeep and Mopar accessories that are currently available as well as some that are in development.

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The week-long event attracts Jeep enthusiasts across the country who spend their days crawling along several trails in the Red Rocks area of the southwest. The Jeep owners often modify their Jeep Wranglers extensively to meet their needs so it’s perfect spot for Jeep to get feedback on these developmental items. (more…)

Jeep Brings Back Memories with Wrangler Willys Wheeler

Military-inspired brute features plenty of go-anywhere spirit.

by on Nov.20, 2013

The new Jeep Wrangler Willys Wheeler was inspired by the original go-anywhere beast that was a staple of the U.S. military.

U.S. military lore is filled with stories about the importance the Jeep played in World War II, the Korean War and even Vietnam. Some of those include tales of soldiers sending home the vehicles pieces at a time and reassembled upon their return because they loved the rugged beasts.

While an original military-style vehicle is now hard to find, Jeep is making it easier for aficionados to get their hands on something close with the 2014 Jeep Wrangler Willys Wheeler edition, which debuted at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

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“The new Jeep Wrangler Willys Wheeler Edition is a Jeep purist’s dream, delivering a Jeep vehicle that harkens back to the original, classic CJs of the 1940s,” said Mike Manley, CEO of Chrysler Group’s Jeep brand. “This new Jeep vehicle delivers pure functionality.” (more…)

Chrysler Scrambling to Boost Jeep Production, Add New Models

Toledo plant could near 500,000 annually.

by on Mar.21, 2013

Jeep is struggling to meet surging demand for the flagship Grand Cherokee - the 2014 model shown here.

Chrysler is looking to kick up production of Jeep vehicles as it stretches to reach its objective of selling 800,000 Jeeps annually. More than half of those are to come from the SUV brand’s expanded plant in Toledo, Ohio.

The ramp-up of Jeep production is happening significantly faster than outlined in the playback Fiat/Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne unveiled in late 2009, shortly after the U.S. maker emerged from bankruptcy. But Jeep’s aggressive growth plans can’t soon enough for the Italian side of the company.

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Marchionne told reporters in Italy earlier this week that a lack of Jeeps caused by the work at its factories – and a changeover to new models — will hurt the company’s finances during the first quarter. But he is hoping that the trans-Atlantic alliance can more than recover from that shortfall by year-end.

Chrysler’s Jefferson North plant in Detroit is still ramping up production of the new 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee, which is also being prepared for expanded export as Marchionne pushes to transform Jeep into a truly global brand.


Jeep Tackling Moab With Six Concept Utes

Concepts like the Trailhawk designed to make easy work of tough trails.

by on Mar.20, 2013

The Jeep Wrangler Slim is one of six new concepts heading to Moab for the annual Easter Safari.

Chrysler is heading into the annual Easter Jeep Safari, about to get underway in Moab, Utah, with a half dozen concept utes intended to show just how far Jeep and the Mopar parts division can stretch the brand for the thousands of enthusiasts drawn to the western wilderness.

The new concept vehicles include the Jeep Wrangler Flattop, which features 37-inch tires and a go-anywhere package, to the curiously named Jeep Wrangler Slim, which the maker says is designed for “affordable, extreme weekend fun.”

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“We go to this extremely popular event in Moab each year to showcase the latest production vehicles from Jeep, as well as a host of new customization and personalization ideas. In doing so, we connect with and receive a tremendous amount of feedback from our most loyal customers,” said Mike Manley, the Jeep brand CEO, during a background session in the wilds of Chrysler headquarters in Auburn Hills, Michigan.