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WranglerWrangler Marketing Chief Speaks
Posted by mike on 2006/9/18 8:02:05 (4211) reads

The Chrysler Group media-only blog recently posted a podcast with Kevin Metz, the marketing brand manager of the Jeep Wrangler. Metz said that one of the driving goals of the Wrangler redesign was to listen to existing customers. He said that Chrysler Group's research found that customers didn't want the look to change all that much - but wanted just about everything else improved.

He mentioned the first-time-ever-offered electronic locks and windows (while maintaining the removability of the doors), increased stiffness through the frame and suspension, increased road clearance - all with a lower price than the 2006 model.

Metz said the current 2-door Wrangler market is 75% male in the 30-40 year-old range while they think the 4-door version will appeal to a greater number of women and young families. He menitioned that 80% of the current Wrangler buyers don't even consider another 4-wheel drive vehicle. He feels that with the 4-door Unlimited model, they will be directly competing more against the Toyota FJ, Hummer H3, and Nissan Xterra.

Here's a snippet from the article that accompanied the podcast:

Remember New Coke, which hit store shelves and vending machines in 1985? Although New Coke scored better in taste tests, the very idea of changing the iconic soft drink turned many people off. New Coke was killed after a few months, but sales of the old Coke soared.

The Jeep® brand also had to tread carefully when it set out to redesign the iconic Wrangler. The new Wrangler, and its new companion the four-door Wrangler Unlimited, have already gone into production and will arrive in dealer showrooms soon.

So the folks at Jeep listened carefully to owners when designing the new Wrangler and the Wrangler Unlimited.

Some owners said that they didn’t want power windows and power locks. Why? Because they wanted to be able to remove the doors, said Kevin Metz, Marketing Brand Manager of the Jeep Wrangler. Solution? The new models offer optional power windows and locks, AND the doors can also be removed.

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Poster Thread
Posted: 2009/3/31 20:08  Updated: 2009/3/31 20:08
Just popping in
Joined: 2009/3/31
Posts: 1
 Re: Wrangler Marketing Chief Speaks

Poster Thread
Posted: 2006/9/18 12:42  Updated: 2006/9/18 12:42
Home away from home
Joined: 2005/7/18
From: Pennsylvania
Posts: 266
 Re: Wrangler Marketing Chief Speaks
I wonder how many Liberty and Grand Cherokee customers requested the CRD option in the US.
Weigh that out against the Wrangler customers who would like a diesel option. It's ironic that Jeep's "test" program on the Liberty was successful considering the Liberty target audience is mostly soccer-moms who don't value diesels, yet Jeep continues to ignore it's most loyal customers requests (80% of Wrangler buyers never even consider another 4x4 = That is incredible loyalty).

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Posted: 2006/9/18 14:39  Updated: 2006/9/18 14:39
Home away from home
Joined: 2005/10/8
From: NW Indiana, USA
Posts: 154
 Re: Wrangler Marketing Chief Speaks
The Liberty CRD exceded sales projections.

Obviously, DCX has determined that the diesel for the Wrangler does not make good business sense AT THIS TIME. With all the changes with diesel fuel about to occur, I can't blame them.

The diesel will come to the U.S. market. You can write to DCX to show the support for the diesel option, you can complain about DCX till your blue in your typing hand, or you can go buy a Hummer with a diesel option.

Personally, I think your frustration should be directed at the anti-recreationalist (read: environmentalists) and not DCX. But that is for another time and thread.

Poster Thread
Posted: 2006/9/18 8:55  Updated: 2006/9/18 9:40
Home away from home
Joined: 2005/7/20
From: The Great White North
Posts: 494
 Re: Wrangler Marketing Chief Speaks
Ditto, jp!
And one more thing, what group of Jeepers pleaded for a minivan engine with peak torque at higher rpms?

Here's how JK's engine fares with the so-called "competition":

Nissan Xterra 265HP/284ft-lbs 4.0L V6
Hummer H3 242HP/242ft-lbs (3.7L I-5 --'07MY)
Toyota FJ 239HP/278ft-lbs 4.0L V6
Jeep JK 202HP/237ft-lbs 3.8L V6

OK, enough on that. I'm dying to test drive the JK, and I will. Hopefully all our bellyaching over the uninspiring engine is overstated, but we'll see... All-in-all, it seems like a much improved vehicle, but OH! that engine...

And what 2 people in the world wanted 2WD Wranglers? And why did you listen to them? Most of us could have lived with Patriots & Compasses being offered in 2WD (for diehard Wrangler fans, who cares, anyway?) but NOT the Wrangler. Isn't a "Brand Manager" supposed to MAINTAIN the brand's image, NOT dilute it?! How did it seen "right" to offer the ICON of the Jeep brand in a 2WD version? Jeez, that gets my vote for the #1 dumb JK decision!

Seems like Subaru is the only SUV carmaker on the planet that understands it's important to stay true to 4WD to maintain the brand image! And I'm not even a Subaru fan.

Poster Thread
Posted: 2006/9/18 10:26  Updated: 2006/9/18 10:29
Just popping in
Joined: 2006/7/13
Posts: 19
 Re: Wrangler Marketing Chief Speaks
Hey, who do you think brings your mail to you in a two-wheel drive vehicle??? I think this is the most basic evolution of the Wrangler, The US Post Office Fleet <---- That's Who! This is all I can come up with. Darn Gas MPG is sad though, Jesus Drives a Jeep anyway!

Poster Thread
Posted: 2006/9/18 10:44  Updated: 2006/9/18 10:44
Home away from home
Joined: 2005/11/28
From: TX
Posts: 190
 Re: Wrangler Marketing Chief Speaks
FWIW, I'm pretty certain that Land Rover doesn't offer a 2wd model. The Hummer brand doesn't offer a 2wd model either...

Jeep has always 2wd civilian vehicles, that's nothing new, and as jay pointed out, the DJ-5 postal Jeeps were all 2wd. That always seemed strange to me though, considering the mail was always supposed to be delivered, come rain, or shine, or snow, or whatever else was in that saying. And it's only the new 4-dr Unlimited that's available in 2WD models.

I'm not saying that I agree with it, just that's I don't think it's as bad as most people think.

Look at it this way... those 2wd's will make great project rigs down the road. They'll be in great shape, never offroaded, cheaper than the 4wd models, and just waiting for someone to pick them up, slap in an Atlas and a D44 or D60 front end, and get go at it!

Poster Thread
Posted: 2006/9/18 11:03  Updated: 2006/9/18 11:11
Home away from home
Joined: 2005/7/20
From: The Great White North
Posts: 494
 Re: Wrangler Marketing Chief Speaks
C'mon guys! The DJ-5s were RHD 2WD Fleet vehicles, not readily available to civilians. The govt was too cheap to opt for 4WDs, but they sure had to buy a lot of tire chains! I believe Alaska (and some other snowy states) got 4WD RHD CJ-7s & CJ-8s later on. There's a website on that somewhere. (found one: duh!)

Offering the Wrangler icon in a 2WD version is a travesty. That was my point. And you're right, Hummer wouldn't do it.

A 4WD "car-like" Compass or Patriot --that everyone's bitchin' about-- will now be able to do rings around a 2WD Wrangler Unlimited in the ice, snow, sand, or mud. How's that look? Who's going to be the first to send in a photo of a 4WD Compass towing a 2WD JK out of a bind?! Yikes!

Now that makes me want to go postal...

Poster Thread
Posted: 2006/9/18 8:42  Updated: 2006/9/18 8:42
Just can't stay away
Joined: 2006/7/25
Posts: 97
 Re: Wrangler Marketing Chief Speaks
Yeah, that's all great and wonderful. I really like the new Wrangler, both in two and four doors. But that's neither here nor there. Now, please explain to me the decisions that led to the "bug" ads and the lame-ass one about Jeep's place in the history of Hip-Hop music. Oh, while you're at it, eplain to me how producing the Compass and passing on the Gladiator is evidence of "listening to your customers."

Poster Thread
Posted: 2006/9/18 19:14  Updated: 2006/9/18 19:14
Not too shy to talk
Joined: 2006/9/18
From: North Central Mass
Posts: 22
 Re: Wrangler Marketing Chief Speaks
i totally agree with you on the hip-hop add. i really think they missed their target market for that car. i think DCx is tryin to steer jeep to a different market and i don't know if it will work. i don't think it will alienate people who are looking to get a jeep (the 80% stat is pretty great!) but i think that it may turn off people who might be on the fence. i really like the lizard add though! i laughed when i saw it.
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