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MiscellaneousBehind the Scenes at DaimlerChrysler - A Hint at Future Jeeps
Posted by mike on 2002/1/16 0:00:00 (756) reads



One of our readers alerted us to an article on MSNBC.com about the merging of Daimler-Benz and Chrysler and the developing relationship between the divisions.  The article is an interested read, and it drops some very interesting hints about the future of the Jeep platform. Some of the highlights include:

  • Originally, the first two designs of the next generation Grand Cherokee were both larger than the current model, one with a third row of seats.
  • DaimlerChrysler believes that the best way to expand the Jeep market is on the low end.
  • The current idea for a new low end Jeep was a 4-door, no carpet, fuel-efficient model that will appeal to young buyers. The model is now in Jeep's long term plans.
  • DaimlerChrysler executives liked the idea of the new low end Jeep so much that they are investigating scaling it up to a full-sized Jeep as well.

Here's a snippet from the article:

As the SUV field grew crowded with attractive offerings not just from GM and Ford, but also from BMW and Toyota. Chrysler invested lavishly to stay ahead. In January 1999, when the company unveiled the latest version of its Grand Cherokee at Detroit’s annual auto show, Robert Eaton, who had negotiated Chrysler’s sale to Daimler-Benz and at the time was co-chairman of DaimlerChrysler with Schrempp, stood on a stage with a bag. He boasted that the new model shared so few parts with its predecessor that all the common components could fit inside.

That free-spending attitude had become popular among Chrysler’s top brass starting around 1996, recalls Richard Schaum, a Chrysler veteran who is the company’s top executive in charge of engineering: Between 1998 and 2000, Chrysler’s capital expenditures as a percentage of sales rose to 8.2 percent, according to J.P. Morgan, second only to Volkswagen AG among the world’s major auto brands and significantly higher than Ford, GM and even Mercedes.

The attitude was evident in the two redesigns of the next-generation Grand Cherokee that greeted Zetsche and his team when they arrived in fall 2000. One version would be longer than the current model. The other would be even bigger and, like Ford’s new Explorer and GM’s new Chevy TrailBlazer, would have a third row of seats.

This would not be a true Jeep, Zetsche recalls thinking. It would be far too large to convey this agility and fun-to-drive [character] which is actually part of the Jeep Grand Cherokee. Last January, he ordered the Grand Cherokee team to come up with a better idea.

In February, Zetsche hired from Ford Schroer and Murphy, two marketers known in the industry for their preoccupation with targeting younger buyers and with building strong brands. On May 25, Zetsche and his top several executives gathered in a conference room at Chrysler’s headquarters here and set about applying that marketing strategy to the development of new cars and trucks. Around this time, Zetsche announced to his deputies his goal of expanding sales by one million vehicles. "Let’s start with Jeep," he said, the brand that he expects will supply about 300,000 of those additional annual sales.

By the end of the session, they had decided the best way to expand the Jeep brand was on the low end. They envisioned a small model, helping Chrysler to meet the federal government’s fleet-average standards for fuel economy by offsetting the company’s bigger, thirstier trucks. It would be designed to fit with minimal retooling on an existing assembly line. It would be utilitarian rather than luxurious, so it could be priced inexpensively enough to woo "Millennials" the next big wave of auto buyers, now no older than 22 to the Jeep brand. And it would spawn several derivatives, spreading development costs over thousands more sales.

...snip...

So the group tinkered with the design, using a smaller engine but trying to maintain the vehicle’s pep by reducing its weight. One way to do that popped into Kukucka’s mind in the middle of the night soon after that meeting. He jotted it down on a notepad he keeps beside his bed. Rather than carpeting, the vehicle would have a smooth floor. That also would save money, and it would seem more hip to a generation that prefers bare-wood floors to wall-to-wall pile.

The no-carpet idea was part of a presentation that Kukucka and his study team made to Zetsche and his deputies on July 25. It wasn’t the only detail that surprised the graying executives in the room. Instead of the two-door model initially envisioned by the older men, who in their own teenage years had lusted after sleek muscle cars, Kukucka’s team proposed a four-door version because they were convinced that Millennials want functionality and lots of room for their friends and gear. They suggested spending a bit extra to put a third shoulder seat belt in the middle of the back seat, in the belief that Millennials, having grown up in child seats and bike helmets, value safety.

Be sure to read the entire article.

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Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Joe's Inflatable Brian Boitano Doll
A......... so like...... dats prety good, yoor like...
staatin ta develop a persunality n stuff.......

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Joe that owns a Miata and Calls it a Jeep.
Ize real sorry bout da name ting.

Me used Utaz name cuz mos peeples who read my post on dis board noze I am a big butt-plug! Ize was tinking dat mebee i could use de name of de guy Utah and it might make my tiny brain work better n stuff. I geuze it does not help me cause even though I use de name Utah....my posts still are stupid...like when I uze my own name n stuff!

Ok...i have to go n stuff now, cause it's time for me to have sex n' stuff with my mom! I sure hope she don't make me chew the corns off of her feet again n' stuff...cause that hurtz my last remaining tooth n' stuff!

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Joe that owns a jeep
Xterra You are a moron & every time you post on here, if it's Joe that owns a miata &thinks it's a jeep or Utah Or when You feel like a real man You post "Xterra" You make yourself look like an ass,if you want to post on here go ahead it's a free country but when You do post as "Xterra" not all these other aliases.
It makes you look like an asshole.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Utah
Lemme tell ya..... I jus showed da whurl how
stoopid I really is.....cause I tink dat "Xterra"
pos about da IFS sayun da Xterra rules waus
da real Xterra..but it wasn't da reel Xterra...it
waus a sarcastic Joe The owns an inflatable
male doll n calls it a Jeep n stuff.........but i'm
too busy wit my tree hairy wives ta knoe dees
tings.....n stuff

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: The Real Utah.
Posting with my name only raises the awareness of how much of an A-hole you are "Joe who owns a Miata and calls it a Jeep"

If it makes you feel better to use my name...go ahead. I doubt that anyone would confuse us.

Plus, you tell me that I am not to bright because the Xterra post was from Joe that owns a Jeep? Well...read down a little lower A-hole. There is Xterra's post for all to see. Clearly...you could not follow my post...I guess it went right over your head.

Of course...you might be dyslexic...so maybe you thought the post was from Arretx, and so you did not make the connection.

As for insulting the people..or more specifically the women of Utah. That doesn't really bother me. I'm not from there, nor am I a mormon. However, it does further illustrate what a total miserable puke you are.

Finally...I now suspect that the reason that you are so mad at my posts is because...You weren't "trying" to be funny in your posts. You actually do talk like that!! Maybe that's how you were "learned" when you were in school...and you do read and write like that for real! My apologies then...I don't believe in teasing and making fun of the mentally challenged...sorry bout that!

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Xterra
Joe and griff you both do'nt know jack, IFS. rules. the Xterra is the best 4x4 You can buy for the money.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: BSmith
Although you saw this article on a different web site, the author and original publisher is the Wall Street Journal. Kinda neat that WSJ can scoop all the car rags with such a big-picture forward-looking yet detailed Jeep story.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Xterra
Can anyone tell me where I can download some Gay Porn? I am particulary interested in pics of guys giving other guys blow jobs on the hood of an Xterra. As for butt-blasting pics....I want to lay off those right now cause my ass is still sore from last nights meeting of the Xterra Owners Association.
Toodle-oo and thanks, Xterra.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Utah
My tree wives a big n hairy n ain got no teeth n
stuff.......... i'm aulso too stoopid ta know dat
dat Xterra pos waus really by Joe that owns a
jeep n stuff.......... I ain very bright n stuff

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Utah
A........... now i gotta go n like.......... fin my tree
wives n stuff

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Utah
Great to see Griff back in the forums.

Xterra..I wish I could say the same about you. Really...How many times have you promised us that you would not come back and post? Why do you break that promise time after time? Is it because you know that the Xterra is a POS?

Joe that owns a miata and calls it a jeep...man that joke is getting old and lame. We get it...hahahahaha...ok...now find a new act PLEASE!!!

As for the article:

Well I am anxiously looking forward to Jeeps new line-up of AWD scooters!! These will have no carpets...but they will have solid axels...woohoo!!! D/C executives are targeting these new models dubbed "The Puberty" at the Perenials! Yes, this is the generation that is born after the Millenialls...but are the children of the GenX'rs. The are called Perenials because they show up every spring when they ride their scooters on the streets after the snow melts! What a better way to get the Jeep brand into the minds of these potential consumers than with this exciting new concept vehicle!!

I am also looking forward to Jeeps next concept vehicle coming soon. It will be marketed to that richest of all consumer demographic groups....The Centenials!! D/C predicts that by 2006 there will be more than 30 million people in the USA that are over a hundred years old! The new concept vehicle called the "The Dependable" will feature AWD, IFS, 6 rows of seats, a flush free toilet, and a fully funtioning cardiac arrest station!!

You've got to hand it to D/C!! They are leaving no market segment ignored!! Oh...except for maybe the people who actually bought Jeeps in the last 20 years.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Patrick
I know that IFS is not the article topic, but it seems to have moved there once again. I would be interested to know what many of you think now that the other 4 wheeler dynasty (Land Rover) has gone in all IFS on both the Freelander and new Range Rover (and Ford can't be to blame since these changes occured when BMW was the owner and even previous).
Patrick, 99 Grand

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Joe that owns a miata and calls it a Jeep
I jus hope dees futcha models will be able ta
traverse da Rubicon on stock tias n stuff. I jus
hope jeep continues ta support mASSuline
individuals like mysulf n stuff.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Joe that owns a jeep
I agree with You griff, I am a big solid axle fan.
IFS. is a joke,DC. was going to put IFS. on the new wranglers in 2006 but so many people were bitching about IFS. on the Liberty that thay are know going to put solid axles on the new wranglers.
I am not a big fan of the Liberty but you have to agree that the Liberty 10x better then the Xterra the new Xterra sucks!!!!!!!

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Griff
Interesting article notice what they didn't talk about? IFS, they know it has become so talked about in the Jeep world that they'd rather not tell you its going to have it till the last minute.

I can't stand IFS and I will never buy a Jeep with it. But I do understand why they are infesting the whole line of Jeeps with it within the next few years. One thing they should keep in mind is that there are still aged Jeepers like myself who appreciate the solid axle. Therefore they should keep the Grand Cherokee solid axle because we are the only people who can afford one. Granted when lifted they are no wrangler when it comes to trail performance but they will still out wheel any IFS truck. I don't mean to piss off the "Millenials," and "Generation X, Y, and Z," but its the truth. There is a greater likelyhood that the older middleaged man can afford one compare to Jeep's 20 something age catagory they are now trying to appeal to.

So Jeep make your new IFS Xterra fighter, with no carpet (how rugged, ha) since that sounds like what you are trying to do since the Liberty isn't even close to winning that battle. Then leave us the Grand Cherokee, because you already took the 18 year favorite the Cherokee XJ, and God forbid you're probably going to take the Wrangler off the Solid axle list. DC leave us old timers and solid axle lovers one vehicle to build up. Atleast one.

Solid Axle forever,
Griff
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