A group of Jeep fans in fear that their beloved brand is in danger of losing its rugged image wants Fiat Chrysler Automobiles to save it by spinning it off into an independent company.
In a strongly-worded , they urged CEO Sergio Marchionne to let Jeep loose on the grounds that FCA’s significant 6 billion euro debt could eventually bring the whole house down and that its association with owner Fiat risks undermining the brand’s reputation for rugged quality. The petition read:
“As owners and fans of Jeep vehicles, we are calling on Fiat Chrysler Automobiles to separate Jeep from FCA’s stable of failing brands and debt. We urge FCA to execute a spinoff to save Jeep.
We are greatly concerned about Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Group’s stewardship of this iconic American brand.
FCA, even with record sales, remains €6 billion in debt. The plan for reducing that debt rests squarely on the back of the Jeep and Ram brands, which are significantly outperforming all other FCA units.”
They hope that FCA spinning Jeep off into an independent company like they did with Ferrari will give it a better shot at surviving in one piece.
More than that, the group believes that although Jeep is one of FCA’s main money makers, its overall financial performance is being taken for granted by Marchionne, who is using the brand as a cash cow to keep the company’s other less successful brands in the staple, notably Fiat and Alfa Romeo, afloat:
“FCA’s plan is not to honor the Jeep brand, but to cannibalize it. Rather than focus on making Jeeps that reflect the rugged heritage of Willys Overland, American Motors, and even the pre-Fiat Jeep Wranglers and Cherokees, FCA is making vehicles that cater to European tastes and regulations. The Jeep Renegade, while selling well, reflects none of the Jeep reputation for rugged, offroad capability.”
And then there is the issue of quality, something the Fiat Group isn’t exactly known for:
“The Jeep Cherokee lines reflect little of the Jeep reputation for durability that is reflected in the high resale value of older Jeeps. Instead, the Cherokee and Grand Cherokee have been the subject of 33 recalls in the last two years.
Fiat runs the risk of making Jeep synonymous with poor quality and unsafe vehicles, threatening the resale value of not just newer vehicles, but undermining the entire brand and its history.”
Life-long Jeep aficionado Michael Turk, the creator of the petition, clearly has strong feelings for the Jeep brand. Do you agree with his sentiments? Will Jeep better off as an independent company, one not brought down by FCA’s big debt and struggling brands? Let us know in the comments below.
Is Jeep Working On High-Performance Gladiator Truck?
The Wrangler-based pickup truck may be getting a high-octane makeover for adrenaline junkies.
Jeep is reportedly working on a high-performance Gladiator along the lines of a Ford Ranger Raptor.
According to inside information provided to the , the model will be dubbed the “Hercules” and one-off prototypes of it are currently undergoing testing.
The Gladiator Hercules would also do battle with the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 and Toyota Tacoma TRD, even though it will be a more powerful pickup. However, without a proper high-performance mid-size pickup on the market — Ford has ruled out the Ranger Raptor for North America — it could very well have a segment to its own.
Jeep has yet to give the green light, but considering that Mark Allen, head of Jeep design, previously hinted at the idea of a high-performance Gladiator and Fiat Chrysler Automobile’s reputation for making over-the-top high-performance models (Dodge Challenger Demon and the Ram 1500 Rebel, just to name a few), it’s easy to see why such a model is likely to see the light of day.
More power is never a bad thing, if you ask us.
Next Jeep Grand Cherokee Will Offer Three Rows Of Seats, Plugin Hybrid
Jeep’s popular midsize SUV will be smarter, more practical and more fuel efficient.
The Jeep Grand Cherokee has traditionally been a two-row, five passenger vehicle, but that’s going to change.
Sources that spoke with have revealed that the fifth generation Grand Cherokee will be offered with three rows of seats for the first time in model history.
Jeep could retain the midsize proportions of the Grand Cherokee and squeeze the third seats behind the second row, which would make them ideal for small children but uncomfortable for normal-sized adults.
Alternatively, the company has at least considered providing two distinct versions of the SUV, a five passenger setup with midsize proportions and a seven passenger setup with a stretched wheelbase to better accommodate a third row.
As another first for the nameplate, the new Grand Cherokee will also offer a plug-in hybrid powertrain and autonomous driving technology.
FCA will convert an idled engine in Detroit to assemble the SUV, as well as revive the Mack Avenue Engine II, which hasn’t been used since 2012.
The plant will create 400 new jobs.
New Jeep Gladiator Has Over 200 Mopar Accessories
Jeep’s pickup truck will not leave you wanting.
The new Jeep Gladiator was the talk of the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show. Not only is it arguably the coolest pickup truck in recent memory, but it’s also the most versatile and one of the most capable.
To further enhance the Wrangler-based pickup’s capabilities, FCA has announced that it will be available with over 200 Mopar accessories.
The list of options includes a Jeep Performance Parts 2-inch lift, JPP tube doors, a Mopar spray-in bedliner, a variety of tonneau covers, and a truck bed storage system, as well as bed-mounted cross rails, off-road lights and beadlock wheels.
Steve Beahm, Head of Parts & Service (Mopar) and Passenger Car Brands, FCA – North America, stated:
“We’re giving owners what they need to enhance the most capable midsize truck ever, whether that’s versatile lifestyle accessories or Jeep Performance Parts for hard-core off-roaders.”
As a refresher, the Jeep Gladiator is basically a Wrangler that has been lengthened to accommodate a five-foot bed, offering all the benefits of Jeep’s iconic off-roader the capabilities of a truck. It launches with a 3.6L Pentastar V6 rated at 285 horsepower and 260 lb-ft. of torque, has a 1,600 pound payload capacity and a 7,650 pound towing capacity.
A diesel-powered model with 260 horsepower and 442 lb-ft. of torque will be offered at a later date.
How will you equip your Jeep Gladiator? Let us know in the comments below.