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Jeep Electrified – SUV Maker Adding EVs, Plug-Ins

Battery-based Jeeps “under active development.”

by on Jun.24, 2016

The Jeep Renegade could be one of the first models electrified, a plug in the Chinese market.

Today’s battery-based vehicles tend to be small sedans, coupes and hatchbacks. But that’s beginning to change with high-end products like the Tesla Model S and, more recently, the Model X.

Tesla will soon have some challengers in the battery-electric SUV market including Audi, set to debut an all-electric ute in 2018. And Jeep is getting ready to weigh in, as well, according to brand boss Michael Manley.

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While Fiat Chrysler’s SUV division isn’t ready to release specific plans, Manley told TheDetroitBureau.com that new battery-based products are “under active development,” and other company sources indicate they aren’t very far from launch.

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With New Plant in India, Jeep Set to Build SUVs on Four Continents

All-new model planned for $280 million plant in Ranjangaon.

by on Jul.02, 2015

The new Renegade marked a turning point for Jeep which is producing it in Italy, rather than the US.

Little more than a domestic American brand just a few years ago, Jeep is going global, expanding both its distribution network to markets as far flung as Berlin, Beijing and Mumbai. It will soon have production facilities, meanwhile, on four continents.

The subsidiary of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles confirmed this week that it will invest $280 million as part of a joint manufacturing venture with India’s Tata Motors. The factory will produce several vehicles, including both the Jeep Grand Cherokee and an all-new model, company officials indicated.

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That project is an “important step as we continue to expand the availability of Jeep products around the world,” FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne said.

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Jeep Reveals Seven Concepts for the Moab Safari

Working prototypes could influence future models – including a possible Jeep pickup.

by on Mar.20, 2015

You're always close to home with the Jeep Grand Cherokee Overlander's pop-up tent.

As spring approaches, serious SUV fans get ready to hit the trails. And Jeep is offering up some ways to have a bit more fun and adventure with seven new concepts for the 49th Annual  Easter Jeep Safari in Moab, Utah.

Unlike the concept vehicles you’ll typically see at an auto show, these are real “runners,” largely based on existing Jeep products and using an array of parts and accessories already available in the Mopar parts catalog. Not surprisingly, one goal is to get loyal Jeep owners to customize their vehicles. But the Safari concepts also offer a hint of special editions to come. And one Wrangler prototype underscores Jeep’s serious interest in adding a pickup to its line-up.

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“Jeep is the most accessorized vehicle” on the road, suggested Pietro Gorlier, President and CEO of Mopar, during a preview of the Easter Safari concepts. Mopar sold 1.2 million parts and accessories for the Jeep brand last year, and Gorlier noted that 98% of Wranglers on the road use at least one of those modifications.

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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.

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Jeep Upgrades Grand Cherokee, Grand Cherokee SRT for 2014

New EcoDiesel will deliver 30 mpg.

by on Jan.14, 2013

The 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee's towing capacity jumps by 44%, to 7,200 pounds.

Barely three years after delivering a dramatic redesign of its big Grand Cherokee, Jeep is tinkering with success and while the updates for 2014 include a number of new safety and security features, an enhanced infotainment system and a new mileage-boosting 8-speed automatic, perhaps the biggest story for the upcoming model-year will be the addition of an all-new EcoDiesel.

A number of the updates, including the 8-speed gearbox, will be shared with the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT performance model which, for the next model-year, will see its rated towing capacity jump by a significant 44%.

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“It’s going to be a big year for product from Jeep,” proclaims the maker’s general manager, Michael Manley.

The updates to the various Grand Cherokee models will coincide with some big revisions to the Jeep Compass and Patriot compact crossovers that also debut at this year’s North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

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Jeep Readies Concepts for Moab Trek

Sales rebound straining SUV brand’s production capacity.

by on Mar.27, 2012

picture credit: Jim McCraw

The Jeep Wrangler Apache, with its 6.2-liter Hemi, can power over almost any obstacle. All photos: Credit Jim McCraw.

Update: photo credits were inadvertently omitted; all photos: Jim McCraw.

The folks at Jeep are used to overcoming some tough obstacles – like the ones on Utah’s grueling Moab Trail, which serves as the site of the maker’s annual Easter Safari.

But even as Jeep officials rolled out an assortment of SUV concepts specifically designed for the Moab run, they acknowledged they’re facing some even tougher challenges in the months ahead.  But it’s not all bad news.

“We’re selling out of every model, every month,” said Jim Morrison, director of Jeep Brand marketing, during a Tuesday new conference.

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In fact, it’s a problem compounded by Jeep’s increasing popularity outside the U.S., Mike Manley, president of the Jeep brand, told reporters at corporate headquarters in Auburn Hills, Michigan.  Jeep is not only short of vehicles in the US but also in Australia, China and Europe where demand for its vehicles has been very strong.

“We’re still running ahead of the industry,” said Manley, who noted Jeep sales are up 37% worldwide this year.

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