Chrysler CEO: Jeep to Remain Icon in Auto Industry
Date 2011/1/12 12:48:00 | Topic: Wrangler
|The Toledo Blade is frequently a good source of news and insight on future directions of Jeep. In a recent article the "Blade" talked to the CEO Mike Manley. He discusses the new powertrain for the 2012 model, future North American useable diesel powerplant, and the possibility of the Wrangler pickup. |
"The second-fastest-growing vehicle [in terms of sales] in our portfolio for 2010 was Wrangler. When you think about that, that's huge, because not only is Wrangler the icon, and therefore its halo spreads to other vehicles, but to some extent, it is niche — when you look at the typical SUV, it doesn't have anywhere near the capability and has nothing like the heritage," Mr. Manley said.
"For us to be able to grow our sales, and for Wrangler to be able to take the second level in terms of driving that growth, I think it just bodes well for the direction we're taking our brand."
Although Wrangler sales are increasing — they were up 15 percent last year from 2009's — the sport utility vehicle still has weaknesses that will be addressed in coming models, Mr. Manley said. "The powertrain is, now with those recent changes, clearly the weakest thing on this vehicle, and we're going to address the powertrain this coming year," the Jeep CEO said. "What that will do is help continue to build the momentum of Wrangler sales."
(Note: As of the writing of this article, the pickup has not been greenlighted).