AutomotiveNews.com recently ran a story in which Chrysler Group Marketing Chief Joe Eberhardt discusses extending the Jeep Brand with a "less-capable" Jeep. Here's a snippet:
Existing Jeep vehicles will retain historic off-road prowess. But there is room at the bottom and top end of the lineup for a new generation of less capable Jeeps, said Joe Eberhardt, the Chrysler group's marketing chief.
"We have been looking for ways to extend the brand," Eberhardt said at the show on Monday. "There is room for vehicles that can stretch the brand without losing Jeep's original identity. The vehicles have to be capable. But not to the extreme the Wrangler or the Grand Cherokee are today."
Two vehicles are likely to pioneer Jeep's move into less-rugged territory: an entry-level SUV and an entry larger than the Grand Cherokee.
In 2002, Jeep introduced the Jeep Compass concept vehicle, a small, entry-level SUV. On Sunday, Jeep showed the Jeep Rescue concept, a truck the size of an H2 Hummer.
Historically, Jeep vehicles are capable of traversing the Rubicon Trail, an off-road route in California, Eberhardt said. But the new generation of Jeeps will not be required to meet that rigorous standard.
"We have said that being able to do the Rubicon is what makes a Jeep," Eberhardt said. "But does every Jeep have to be Rubicon capable? A lot of people don't know you can't do the Rubicon trail in a Hummer. Does that make the Hummer not an off-road vehicle?"
Be sure to check out the entire article.
Toledo Blade Covers the Debut of the Wrangler Unlimited
The hometown newspaper of the main Jeep assembly plant recently published an article about the stretched Wrangler Unlimited. Here's a snippet:
With 1,500 more pounds of towing capability, 2 added inches of backseat legroom, and 13 more inches of cargo space, the "stretch" version of the Toledo-made Jeep Wrangler is finally here.
The Wrangler Unlimited, dubbed a 20041/2 because it will be widely available in April, roughly halfway through the model year, will make its true public debut today during media previews of the North American International Auto Show in downtown Detroit. (Jeep dealers, industry analysts, The Blade, and other select news outlets have been shown the Unlimited, but photos were not allowed to be released until today.)
Check out the entire article.