The Future Of Wrangler - Jeep’s Jim Morrison talks about the next WranglerPosted in Features on November 30, 2015
We talked with Jim Morrison, Jeep Product Marketing Manager, during the December 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show. Here’s what he had to say about the future of the Jeep Wrangler.
Jp: “The Jeep Wrangler is such an iconic vehicle in the U.S., as well as worldwide. How important is the Wrangler to the future of the Jeep brand?”
Jim Morrison: “The Wrangler is what really defines the brand. The Wrangler is the vehicle that directly connects us to the enthusiast and helps us stay in touch with the hardcore jeeper.
A lot of members on the Jeep team drive Wranglers, and I have owned two Rubicons. Wheeling is a big part of what we do on our weekends. The Wrangler is the icon of the brand and represents the name Jeep like no other vehicle. It really sets up the brand’s iconic capability.”
"...we will not screw up the Wrangler."
Jp: “In the Jeep design team, what are the personality makeups of the people working on the new Wrangler? Are they outdoorsmen, fishermen, hunters, off-roaders?”
JM: “The nice thing is that all of us, whether it’s on the design team, brand team, or engineering team, are people who understand what the Wrangler is and what it needs to be. They are jeepers. We’re out at Moab Easter Jeep Safari, the Rubicon, and we’re doing the hard stuff because we love to do it. We go jeeping on the weekends back home in Michigan whenever we can. I go out with my boys.
“Working with the vehicle and pushing it to its limits are a really fun part of being on the Jeep team. That goes across the entire group, front office and design teams. They take their own vehicles out on the weekends. We all have winches and tow straps and coolers full of food, and go out on adventures for a few days.
This passion for off-roading really comes through on many different levels. It’s hard not to when you have a Jeep.”
Jp: “It’s nice to know that the guys with the ‘steering wheel in their hands’ when it comes to the design of the Wrangler are enthusiasts.”
JM: “The new Red Rock version of the Wrangler is the perfect example. It’s a fully customized Wrangler set up for a specific purpose with special off-road hardware added to a factory Jeep. Through reading publications such as Jp and the connections we have with groups like the Red Rock Four Wheelers we learn what the enthusiast really wants.”
Jp: “This year (2016) is the 75th anniversary of Jeep. Is Jeep planning something big?”
JM: “Let’s just say that the lights are on late on the 9th floor in Auburn Hills because we are getting ready for something big for the 75th. It’s really exciting to be part of a brand that is celebrating 75 years. You can take a 1941 Willys and park it beside a 2016 Wrangler Willys and you know it’s the same DNA. This year is going to be great for reinforcing what Jeep means here is the U.S. and what it means around the world. There will be some special editions that we are all very proud of.”
Jp: “I know you can’t really talk about what the next-gen Wrangler will be like, but can you give us some clues as to what it will NOT be like?”
JM: “All I can say without getting in a lot of trouble is that we will not screw up the Wrangler. We know how important it is, and it will be incredible. It is going to be the most capable Wrangler ever.”
The 2016 Red Rock special edition Jeep Wrangler Rubicon introduced in December of 2015 at the Los Angeles Auto Show features a roster of Mopar-available off-road upgrades, including 35-inch BFG KO2 tires.
Jim Morrison, Jeep Product Marketing Manager, gave us some insight into what off-road enthusiasts can expect from the next-gen Wrangler.
The 2016 Jeep Wrangler Backcountry special edition (pictured is the new color Extreme Purple) is inspired by winter athletes and offers off-road upgrades such as rock rails, 17-inch Rubicon wheels and BFG KO2 tires.