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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.

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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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Management Shake-up at FCA

Manley trims portfolio – gives up China, but gets to focus on Jeep.

by on Jan.11, 2017

Mike Manley, here introducing the new Jeep Compass, is going to get to focus solely on Jeep and Ram truck after the shuffling of executives at FCA.

Seemingly always in motion, Fiat Chrysler’s Mike Manley might finally get a few hour’s sleep each night as he finds himself at the center of a management shake-up at the Euro-American automaker.

Manley will no longer oversee FCA’s Chinese and Asia-Pacific operations, it was announced on Wednesday. But what might seem, at first glance, to be a bit of a demotion is, at closer inspection, a recognition that Manley was simply too spread out to handle some of his more critical assignments.

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That includes overseeing the development and sales of some of the automaker’s most profitable product lines: the Jeep and Ram brands. Both have been gaining ground amidst the current shift from cars to light trucks. (more…)

A $140,000 Jeep?

SUV brand wants new Grand Wagoneer take on luxury competitors directly.

by on Oct.10, 2016

Would you pay $140K for a Jeep? FCA may be planning on it when it re-introduces the Grand Wagoneer in 2018.

How much would you be willing to pay for a fully loaded, full-size SUV? We’ve seen the new Bentley Bentayga push over the $250,000 mark, and there are several versions of the Range Rover not far behind. But a $140,000 Jeep?

The ute arm of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is getting close to the long-awaited revival of the Jeep Grand Wagoneer, and it’s apparently looking to move the full-size model significantly up-market compared to where the Jeep brand competes today.

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How far up? “Pushing the car up to $130,000 to $140,000 may be possible,” Jeep brand boss Mike Manley tells Britain’s Auto Express, though he cautioned that, “We need to establish Grand Wagoneer in its own right first.” (more…)

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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Jeep Climbing Up to Another Record Sales Year

Top exec suggests new SUV smaller than Renegade may be coming.

by on Jun.24, 2016

Jeep CEO Mike Manley believes there is room at both ends of the Jeep portfolio for new products.

The Jeep brand is rocketing towards another sales record this year and it also looking for new worlds to conquer.

Mike Manley, president of chief executive officer in charge of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V.’s Jeep brand, said during a session with reporters at the FCA’s Chelsea Proving Ground that he believes there is ample room in the market for a B-Class-size Jeep smaller than the Renegade, which is now the smallest vehicle in the Jeep model line.

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“I have a strong feeling a small Jeep below Renegade would do well outside of (North America),” said Manley, who has been responsible for pushing the Jeep brand into new market in Europe, Asia and now South America. (more…)

Fiat Chrysler Sending Out Fix for Faulty eShifters on Recalled Jeep, Sedan

Jeep investigating possible link to death of Star Trek actor Yelchin.

by on Jun.23, 2016

Jeep had been hoping to gain momentum with the Grand Cherokee's appearance in the new film, Independence Day Resurgence.

A top official at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles said the carmaker wants to investigate the weekend accident that took the life of actor Anton Yelchin, best known for his role in the Star Trek movie series. He was killed when his Jeep Grand Cherokee unexpectedly pinned him against a gate at his home, apparently leading to asphyxia.

The 2015 sport-utility vehicle was one of 1.1 million FCA vehicles recalled earlier this year to fix an electronic shifter system that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration System called “unintuitive,” citing numerous complaints from owners who said they could not figure out what gear they were in. The automaker had issued a warning to owners but had not begun repairs at the time Yelchin was killed.

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“We’re waiting to be able to start our own investigation,” said Michael Manley, the president and chief executive of the Jeep brand, during a media roundtable at FCA’s proving grounds an hour outside Detroit on Thursday. “Obviously, we would like our own people to go over the vehicle.”

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Fiat Chrysler Opens New Jeep Plant in China

Full production expected next month.

by on Oct.20, 2015

Jeep is now building Cherokees in China. The first models rolled off the line this week with full production coming in November.

Amid much fanfare, the first Jeep Cherokee rolled off the assembly line of a new joint-venture plant built by Fiat Chrysler NV and its Chinese partner, Guangzhou Automobile Group in Changsha, China.

The ceremony also marks the return of the Jeep brand, which helped ignite a revolution in what was then China’s rudimentary automobile industry back in the 1980s with the founding of Beijing Jeep, the first joint venture between an American company and a Chinese partner.

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In 2007, what was Beijing Jeep was absorbed by a new joint venture established by Daimler AG after had sold off the Chrysler Group to a group of investment bankers.  Meanwhile, China automotive industry has grown into the largest world with the capacity to build roughly 30 million vehicles annually. (more…)

Officials Confirm New Jeep Liberty to Debut in NY

Name may yet change.

by on Feb.19, 2013

The 2014 Jeep Liberty undergoing testing prior to its introduction at the NY Auto Show.

Chrysler Group is planning to show off the new version of the Jeep Liberty at the New York Auto Show, Mike Manley, president and chief executive officer of the Jeep brand has confirmed.

Manley also said Chrysler plans to have the new version of the Liberty on sale by “the end of the second quarter,” following its debut in New York at the end of March.

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Other sources inside Jeep said the final, final call on the name for the upcoming vehicle has yet to be nailed down. There is plenty of speculation Jeep could drop the Liberty name and start fresh. The final call, however, will be made by Manley and other Chrysler executives prior to the unveiling at New York’s Jacob Javits Convention Center.

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Jeep Balancing Off-Road Chops and Fuel Stops

SUV brand helps set course for resurgent Chrysler.

by on Feb.15, 2011

Jeep aims to pull the rest of Chrysler uphill.

As pundits write endlessly about the resurgence of Chrysler, they talk mostly about the influx of new product at the company’s Dodge and Chrysler brands. But the troubled U.S. maker’s turnaround will also rely on its off-road brand, Jeep.

Despite being the first one of the Chrysler/Fiat’s five brands to launch a major new product as the company plotted its post-bankruptcy strategy, Jeep has been almost an afterthought. Just don’t tell that to Mike Manley, the president and CEO of the brand.

If you do, you’ll be reminded that Jeep Grand Cherokee — redesigned for 2011 and launched last summer — was the first Chrysler product to be launched as part of the new product offensive. And it was good enough to land on the finalist list for North American Truck of the Year.

Manley also will remind you that the compact Compass SUV was recently refreshed and is now trail-rated, and that other Jeep models have been significantly updated in one way or the other, mostly with updated interiors.

“We were the first brand to make news this year,” Manley said. “We’ve got some very good space now.”

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