Jeep News & Rumors
*'10 Grand Cherokee: Mercedes-Benz ML chassis, meaning four-wheel independent suspension. Or as Editor Cappa translates that, "You can pretty much kiss its trail rating goodbye. This will likely be the first Grand Cherokee that is less capable than the previous generation." Check jpmagazine.com for the full scoop.
*Polk Automotive made the Grand its pick for the 2009 Automotive Loyalty Award: Midsize SUV. See Cappa's quote above then place your bets for 2010.
*Jai Ho! Sounds like the diesel Jeep J8 will show up for sale in the U.S., but in limited quantity.
*Want to get your hands on a Mopar 4.7L stroker crate engine? Purell those puppies, because they're about to reach out and touch the real thing.
*Employee Pricing Plus Plus: It's the employee discount on '08 and '09 Jeep models (and Dodges and Chryslers) bought or leased, plus plus cash discounts of up to $3,500 on '09s and up to $6,000 on '08s. Zero percent financing is also available for 48 months. So, shouldn't it be Employee Pricing Plus Plus Zero?
*January 2009 versus January 2008? A 55 percent drop in sales for Chrysler. But word is Jeep was up 4 percent.
*From SEMA's market research: About 85 percent of Jeep enthusiasts the org surveyed said they don't intend to sell or trade and are "satisfied" with their Jeep.
New Jeep Concept
Yup, you've been gypped: What you see here is only a rendering of the latest concept vehicle coming from the Jeep side. However, if you check jpmagazine.com, you'll find images of the real thing. It's a Wrangler Rubicon that we first mentioned back in the Autopsy series (concepts edition), and was known as Lower40. The now-named Lower Forty is a two-door JK with 40-inch tires-and that's with stock height; no lift, but there's been copious amounts of fender trimming and wheelwell modifications (as our neighborhood bum likes to say, "duh dar"). We'll have more details about this low-slung monster in an upcoming issue of Jp.
Quote Without Story
"You can either help us or burn us all down."-Chrysler Vice Chairman and President, Jim Press, to dealers, according to Automotive News
*Fiat, Chrysler, and Cerberus Capital Management have signed a nonbinding agreement for a global strategic alliance. The perk for Fiat? A 35 percent stake in Chrysler.
*Rumor is that the Marine Corps is looking to expand its Combat Center in Johnson Valley, California, which would mean diving into the 189,000 acres designated OHV.
*Word is that Crane Cams has shut its doors, locked 'em, and chucked the key. But rumor (via Trasborg) has it the name may be bought.
*You may remember that we spotlighted the Rubi-Crawler from Advance Adapters in New Products. The planetary reduction housing is designed to mirror the empty production tailhousing of the 42RLE tranny. AA says the empty stock housing allows your TJ or JK to have multiple low-range gearing options-without taking up extra space-for a bolt-in deal sans any driveshaft modifications. Any hoot, end of March is when it was due to go public, so remind yourself to check it out after you finish reading this issue.
*Permatex has turned 100.
*The '09 Patron GT3 Challenge by Yokohama will be the first race series to use tires with orange-oil technology, making for 20 percent less synthetic rubber. The process combines orange oil with natural rubber.
*It's that time of year, '10 Dodge Ram HDs have arrived, and for the first time there's a crew cab (RIP, Quad Cab). The 383hp 5.7L Hemi and 350hp 6.7L Cummins are familiar faces. The GVWR has increased on models, as has the GCWR and GAWR, and there are larger front-axle U-joints. Diesels still get a standard exhaust brake. One other Dodge note: the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has done side-impact crash tests on the '09 Dodge Ram 1500, Nissan Titan, and Chevy Silverado 1500. The Ram got the second-worst score of marginal (Editor's note: Even though the test senario seems kinda unrealistic.)
*Find the chick in the Guinness Book of World Records with the longest fingernails kinda barfworthy to look at (and how can we blame you over that 2-foot-plus thumbnail)? She was ejected during a car crash and the nails were the accident's fatalities.
*The Illinois Secretary of State and the Illinois Library Association made available an Obama license plate-temporary and good for 60 days, but it's now going national.
*According to National Automobile Dealers Association's chief economist, 12.7 million is the magic number, or the sales of new vehicles in the U.S. in 2009. Last year was about 13.2 mil.
Kiss The Brake Foot Massager Adios
There's an '08-model Ford car that comes in a staggering 2,600 trim/feature variations. But the '10 was reduced to 104. The Associated Press is reporting that other U.S. automakers will start chopping in order to streamline production, and will guess what most of the public will want and offer that. AP said Chrysler typically offered 10,000 varying vehicle combinations to account for the multiple transmission, interior, and safety options, but is now aiming to bring down the number of combos to 1,000 for some of its main models.
Cash For Clunkers Defeated, But...
A Cash for Clunkers national proposal has been defeated, but Washington state legislature is eyeing HB 2059, a bill to scrap vehicles more than 15 years old and not emissions compliant. In return, people would get a sales-tax exemption for the first $2,000 of tax paid on the purchase price, and said vehicles would be destroyed. To fight this, feverishly write to the members of the Washington State House Committee on Finance.
Jeep Liberty Pickup
Read through the old announcement on Beijing Automobile Works' Web site about the BAW 2008 business anniversary and military handover ceremony, and one thing will catch your attention: photos of some of the vehicles it produces. The one that will make you stand up and take notice is this guy. On thetycho.com, it's claimed to be a 2008 gift for the China Military Museum in Beijing. One-of-a-kind prototype?
Things to Do With Your Jeep
April 24-26, Tin Benders Jamboree, Johnson Valley, CA, tinbenders.org
May 2, Blessing of the Jeeps hosted by Cadillac Jeepers, Ellens Corners, Mesick, MI, cadillacjeepers.com
Week of May 4, Jeepster Event hosted by JCCA, meeting at Arch View Resort, Moab, UT, jeepstercommandoclub.com
May 9, Off-Road 101 Instructional Course, Kansas Rocks Recreation Park, near Fort Scott, KS, ksrockspark.com
May 9, May Night Run, Kansas Rocks Recreation Park, near Fort Scott, KS, ksrockspark.com
May 9, Gen-Right Consumer Swap Meet, Simi Valley, CA, genright.com
May 9, 2nd Annual Worldwide Go Topless sponsored by Allthingsjeep.com, allthingsjeep.com/go-topless-day
May 22-25, Hi Desert Round-Up, Barstow, CA, cal4wheel.com
June 6, Grand Mesa Jeep Club OffRoad Show & Swap Meet, Mesa County Fairgrounds, Grand Junction, CO, gmjc.org
June 17-21, W.E. Rock Western U.S. Rock Crawling Nationals Reno Rocks 4x4.com, Sands Regency, Reno, NV, renorocks4x4.com
June 18-21, Jeepster Jam hosted by JCCA, Toad Ranch, Oak Ridge, TN, jeepstercommandoclub.com
June 19-21, Big Bear Forest Fest, Snow Valley Ski area, Running Springs, CA, ie4w.com
June 26-28, Gen-Right Jeepfest #2, Gorman, CA, genright.com
June 26-28, 8th Annual Meet and Greet hosted by Alaska Extreme Fourwheelers, Alaska State Fairgrounds, meetandgreetalaska.com
August 8-9, 4th Annual Bad Azz Truck Expo, Ionia Fairgrounds, Ionia MI, badazztruckexpo.com
August 14-16, Trailfest 2009 hosted by EC4WDA Northeast, based at the Holiday Inn, Holyoke, MA, trailfest.hv4w.org
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The Chrysler Job We Would Have Applied For
The Detroit Free Press did some digging around and learned of a few ways Chrysler intends to trim the fat. One casualty? Clocks. Most of them are now gone, in order to save around $20,000 a year on batteries-and the workers who make the change for daylight saving time. We'll give you a moment to stop shaking your head over that gig. Additional changes will be the Christmas decoration budget dropping to just a grand and the hallway temp going from 72 to 68 degrees, while 40,000 of the 80,000 lightbulbs at HQ were removed to save another $400,000 a year. To recap: It's dark and cold at Chrysler, and employees don't know WTF time it is.