It was another great year for Jeep. In fact, it was a record-setting year for the automaker for the fourth year in a row. Jeep has already surpassed its record-setting sales in 2014 of 1,017,019 vehicles. Pine Belt Chrysler-Jeep is highly impressed by those numbers as there is still a month and a half left in the year. Sales were already up 22 percent across the globe heading into November. The best-selling Jeep models through October were the Cherokee, Grand Cherokee, and Wrangler. A major part of this growth can be credited to major demand for SUVs in the U.S. market, introduction of the Jeep Renegade into global markets, and establishment of local production in Brazil and China. Jeep has big plans to continue with this growth. By 2018, the automaker wants to produce 1.9 million Jeep models at 10 different assembly plants across six countries.
Jeep and Mopar teamed up to showcase three modified off-roading vehicles at the Dubai Motor Show. Two are based on the Wrangler, while the one that stole the show was based on the Cherokee. The two Wrangler-based vehicles are the Sahara Sun Runner and the Wrangler Dark Side. The Sahara Sun Runner has a matte yellow paintjob, half doors, and a lift kit that raises the off-roading vehicle four inches, while the Wrangler Dark Side is fitted with enormous tires, flat fenders, and features a multitude of various Mopar components. The Jeep Cherokee KrawLer had Pine Belt Chrysler-Jeep extremely interested. The ultimate off-roader has a modified suspension, off-roading tires, widened fenders, and skid plates. The cabin matches the exterior with a green paintjob. Under the hood lies a 3.2-liter V-6 engine mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission generating an output of 272 horsepower.
There are still several rumors surrounding a new Jeep-branded truck. Jeep revealed a Jeep-branded truck in 1981 as the CJ-8 that was based on the CJ-7, but had an expanded wheelbase. Additionally, Jeep manufactured the Gladiator full-size truck between 1962 and 1988. Jeep remained in the pickup segment with its Comanche until the company decided to back out of the segment in 1992. Now the company seems like it is ready to compete once again. Jeep is in the midst of experimenting with two entirely different body styles. The first body style will be based on the next-generation Wrangler, but with an expanded wheelbase to make room for the pickup bed. It will reduce the company’s cost of building the pickup, but there is some doubt that it will appeal to many consumers. The other body style is to be less rugged than the Wrangler and focus more on play and adventure. Jeep wants to build a truck that will appeal to consumers across the globe. Pine Belt Chrysler-Jeep in Lakewood sees some possibilities in a Jeep-branded truck being introduced to the market by the end of 2020.
There has been a couple of Jeep Wrangler prototypes spotted undergoing testing with an extended chassis of around 10-inches. This extension was necessary for Jeep to equip the Wrangler with an eight-speed transmission in order offer a great off-road vehicle. Furthermore, the prototypes are fitted with modified rear axles and differentials. Pine Belt Chrysler-Jeep in Lakewood expects the Wrangler to be introduced to the market in 2017. We will inform you of more specifications regarding the vehicle as it is revealed.
Fiat Chrysler’s assembly plant in Toledo, Ohio manufacturers Jeep Wranglers and Cherokees. Within a few years, it is expected for this particular assembly to expand its operations into the production of a Wrangler-based pickup. It is possible that the pickup will also contain similar characteristics to that of the Gladiator Concept car that was revealed in 2005. There are two benefits for introducing a pickup. The Toledo factory has reached max capacity since the vehicles it manufactures−Wranglers and Cherokees−are being sold at a rapid pace. The factory does not have the capacity to produce more and it has been very difficult for Jeep to even think about moving locations. The pickup will now allow the Cherokee to be made at the same productivity at a new plant, while maintaining the productivity of the Wrangler in Toledo, but filling the Cherokee’s spot with the pickup. Another great benefit is being able to capitalize on the hot segments of pickups and SUVs. Jeep now has created a niche market that may attract consumers from both markets. Pine Belt Chrysler-Jeep in Lakewood is excited to see the reveal of the Wrangler-based Jeep pickup.