What's Going On In The Industry
Jp Staff Gets Naked
Want to learn more about the people who put together your favorite Jeep magazine? Agreed, you don't. But some of you have been asking questions, so in each issue, we'll answer those, no matter how weird they—and you—are. Send your question to ">firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line, "I Need to Know." We were going to make that subject line "Get Naked," but we have enough of those already in our spam folder.
Jeep News & Rumors
• Is a recall in our midst? Yes, actually. About 470,000 '05-'10 Grand Cherokees and '06-'10 Commanders, because upon start-up there's an alleged possibility of the tranny slipping into Neutral and a potential rollaway factor.
• Chrysler is going diesel crazy—as we said last month, it looks like the automaker will be adding a diesel option to just about everything soon, and now that even includes the Chrysler 300. Good news for the Jeep side, we're assuming, since there's actually demand there versus, oh, say, in the Chrysler 300.
• The Wagoneer is 50? Born in 1963. Crap, it's old. Crap, we're old.
• And…the return of the Wagoneer is imminent in some way, shape, or form in the near future.
• The Maserati Grand Cherokee, the Levante, likely will be built in Italy.
• The '14 Jeep Cherokee? Production delays.
• Favorite recent headline: "Kids Find Nude Man in Jeep in Downtown Port." That was from the Port Washington-Saukville Patch.
• Favorite recent first sentence of a news story: "A Maine girl's Jeep was hit by an unsecured portable toilet on her way to school Monday." That was from the Washington Free Beacon.
• Alfa Romeo still has plans for a Jeep-based SUV. Anticipate it around 2015.
• CURT Manufacturing has gone YouTube-loco. The company behind towing products has created 100s of videos about products, product testing, installations, and probably something with kittens and towing, given that it's the Tubey place. Go here: youtube.com/user/curtmfg.
• The Spicer brand has grown—there are now more ratios and parts available for the Dana 44 and 60. The Dana brand has also launched SVL, a new line of light-duty ring-and-pinion stuff. Get the scoop at svlparts.com. • Philips Automotive has kicked off a new website, www.philips.com/automotive, so that you can learn everything you ever wanted to learn about driving lights.
1,000,000th Wrangler JK
The Toledo Assembly Complex is what birthed the 1,000,000th Wrangler JK, specifically a black '13 Rubicon 10th Anniversary Edition, which will be delivered to a buyer in Sarasota, Florida.
• The NADA Used Car Guide found that in the first four months of 2013, fullsize pickup sales had jumped close to 7 percent. One of the reasons presumed is a drop in late-model supply and therefore higher trade-in values for the trucks.
• And…www.carfinance.com's data revealed that between October 2012-March 2013, the top 10 vehicles bought by subprime borrowers included the Ram 1500, both used and new. The Ford F-150 and Chevy Silverado also made the used list. So did the Ford Mustang, for whatever that's worth.
• Land Rover has delved into the app business: The Trail Less Traveled is a new app built around the fourth-generation Range Rover, and allows users to go on an interactive ride off-road. Um…Jeep?
• AOL Autos reported that there were about 22 recalls related to airbags in a six-month period. There had been 10 in the six months prior to that.
• The hottest vehicle at auction now? Not Ferrari. Not muscle cars. Vintage SUVs. According to research by Hagerty Insurance, collector car auctions are seeing a rise in their popularity—the segment has grown 65 percent since 2008. The fastest risers are Toyota Land Cruisers, but '70-'80s Jeeps are also in demand. International Scouts and Ford Broncos are also tops.
Building the Next Moonbuggy
For the 20th time, the NASA Great Moonbuggy Race has showcased great young minds—students who design, build, and race lightweight, human-powered buggies on a half-mile course that is reminiscent of a cratered lunar surface like what the Apollo lunar rover developers had to deal with in their time. The '13 space race was won by Teodoro Aguilar Mora Vocational High School in Yabucoa, Puerto Rico, in the high school division, while the University of Puerto Rico at Humacao won the college round. Students from Russia, Germany, India, and Canada were among those who made up the nearly 600 student drivers, engineers, and mechanics comprising the 89 teams.
Quote Without Story
"It means two things, it means job security for one thing because the Jeep Liberty that we were building was not real successful in the market place and we launched that car in 2001 on three shifts, then it went to two shifts, and then it went to one shift half the time."
—Bruce Baumhower, President UAW Local 12, to www.northwestohio.com, regarding the importance of the new Cherokee and the people who build it
Quote Without Story 2
"I wouldn't call them hurdles, but there are certain things you have to do. It has to be a Wrangler, and that means in every sense of the word. It has to look like a Wrangler. We could put a 30-year-old Jeep next to a Wrangler and you know that they are from the same family. It has to have that clear style link. Second, I think if we got the capability wrong, I'm pretty sure I would not be able to leave my house. We're very, very focused on enhancing capability. We're looking at things like body on frame, but it also needs a continued focus in fuel economy, so that means things like weight, aero, and powertrain. I'm sure that our team will stay very true to what Wrangler means but any changes are relevant."
—Mike Manley, Jeep head honcho, to boldride.com, about the process of developing the next-gen Wrangler.