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May 2010 Dispatch

Posted in News on May 1, 2010 Comment (0)
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Three New Jeeps
Weren't you just saying to a buddy the other day, Hey, why don't they make the Islander package anymore? Yeah, we didn't think so, but Jeep thought you did, so now it's one of three new models available this year.

After 20 years off the market, the Islander has returned on the Wrangler and Unlimited. The most obvious sign that you've got your tropical on is the logo of Tiki Bob on the hood, accompanied by latitude and longitude coordinates that Jeep says point to an actual location. There are also black side steps, a Surf Blue Pearlcoat, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with blue stitching, and more blue throughout the interior. The MSRP for the Islander option is $1,120.

The Wrangler Mountain edition is based on the Sport S and has a Mountain decal on the hood and also latitude and longitude coordinates (while the Islander's relate to an island theme, this one's related to the mountain one). There's also 17-inch Moab Mineral Gray wheels mated to 32-inch rubber, grille and bumper appliqués, tube steps, a Mopar fuel-filler door, and black taillight guards. The MSRP for this one is $1,820, and it'll arrive later than the other two new Jeeps, in the second quarter of this year.

The Liberty regains the Renegade, which will fall between the Sport and Limited, and will have Selec-Trac, Mineral Gray Keystone 16-inch wheels, a special Salsa Red Pearlcoat, dark neutral metallic fender flares, fascias, side sills, and body side moldings, as well as silver accents, premium cloth seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, driftwood accents, and other unique features.

Jeep News & Rumors
•We're screwed-no plans for a diesel Wrangler in North America any time soon.

•Also screwed-owners of '10 Libertys, Commanders, and Grands (plus '09-'10 Dodge Rams and a few other Chrysler products). There is a recall due to a possible missing or improperly formed brake booster input rod retaining clip. The fix: Chrysler will replace it for free.

•Totally screwed: Consumer Reports has come out with its 2010 Car Brand Perception Survey, which scores vehicles on how consumers perceive (that's the key word) them in seven categories, including safety, quality, performance, and technology. Jeep fell among those in the worst column, although Hummer and Saab were some of the lowest scorers.

•Not screwed? The sales leaders of 2009. According to Automotive News, Subaru came out on top overall, but when it came to various market segments, the Wrangler won the SUV category, selling 82,044, which was 8,790 more than the Chevy Tahoe, in second.

•Also not screwed: the Wrangler again. CarMax says that for the first time, its top 10 list of most searched used vehicles for the year included this Jeep. The year being 2009.

•Very not screwed: Kelley Blue Book ranked Jeep as the top domestic brand in its 2010 Residual Value Study. It claimed that '10 Jeeps will maintain 35.7 percent of their original value five years after ownership, which is more than 3 percent above the industry average.

•Just screwy: An ad campaign for Jeep (and the other Chrysler brands) has the theme "Coming Home." Not exactly the beefy "Like a Rock" or "Zoom Zoom." So, how'd they settle on this one? Apparently, "Consumers do not realize that Chrysler Group has emerged from bankruptcy and is now a different company with a new alliance partner and a healthy product plan." Yeah, that probably would have been a little wordy as is.

Industry News
•It's being said that GM will spend $1 billion to refurbish its fullsize pickups, which haven't been touched in a major way since 2006. We'll refrain from naming Jp staffers in the same boat.

•$187 million is what it will cost the Obama administration to fund nine fuel-efficiency projects. The recipients of the cash include Cummins, which is getting $38.8 mil to develop a clean diesel, among other things, and Chrysler Group, with $14.5 mil to develop a flexible combustion system for the minivan.

•The California Desert Protection Act of 2010: It's legislation that will create national monuments to protect land and land use-in the good way.

•Now partners: Jeepspeed, OC Motorsports, and Orange Coast Chrysler/Jeep Dodge, which will make OC Motorsports exclusive home of Jeepspeed, as in vehicles, parts, and accessories in a one-stop-shopping format for custom products.

•Chrysler is investing $179 million to kick off production of the advanced, fuel-efficient FIRE engine, or the 1.4L Fully Integrated Robotized Engine, a collaboration between Chrysler and Fiat powertrain groups. It will be built at the Global Engine Manufacturing Alliance plant in Auburn Hills, Michigan, and should create about 573 new jobs.

•Matt Adair from Master Pull sent us the photo of the Petty Cash Racing Jeep SuperCherokeeBird competing in the budget-friendly 24 Hours of LeMons race at ThunderHill, where they finished 63rd out of 158 vehicles. "We're pretty damn happy," he said. "When you think we took a Jeep and competed with-and beat-BMWs, Miatas, Mustangs, Camaros, and we were out for three hours, it ain't half bad."

Petty Cash Racing Jeep SuperCherokeeBird.

•The Firestone brand has become the first-ever "Official Tire" of Major League Baseball.

•Chrysler is now prohibiting employees from texting while driving company-owned vehicles.

•OK, yeah, it's a new website brought to you by Toyota, but is still worth eyeballing. It's all about favorite trails as deemed by users, who can add photos, write all about them, add GPS coordinates, and more.

•DieHard has launched and, where you'll find videos, instructions, and more on battery-related stuff, like how to jump-start, how to check cables and charge, how to winterize the battery, and much more.

•Mark your calendar for March 25, when three Miss Mint 400 finalists will attend the kickoff party for the General Tire SNORE Mint 400 race in Las Vegas. The winner will help start the desert race on the 27th.

•Cyclone Power Technologies is working with Phoenix Power Group to develop a prototype electric generator system powered by Cyclones heat-regenerative, external combustion engine running on waste oil. In other words: clean-burning engine + used motor oil.

Quote Without Story
"My stance is that it cannot be done in less than 24 months. I have every intention of trying to break that record."
-Sergio Marchionne, CEO of Chrysler, according to the Wall Street Journal, on taking two years to change the image that Chrysler produces low-quality vehicles

Auto Graphs
•'s a site brought to you by the U.S. Department of Transportation and is all about distracted driving. As in, how not to be, and there are tons of stats about that and what happens when you are.

•MSNBC has reported that a teen in New Zealand was found guilty of disorderly behavior. She had been flashing her, uh, chestular area at passing cars, and then one ran into her.

Cooper's worse than an SUV.

•The Mirror ran a story about a woman who sustained a damaged nerve in her pelvis during a car accident. Why's it newsworthy? She's now "constantly craving sex" from the injury, she claims.

•The book Time to Eat the Dog: The Real Guide to Sustainable Living compares the carbon footprint of various pets to that of an SUV (a 4.6L Toyota Land Cruiser), and according to a review of the book by NewScientist, the footprint of the Cruiser (how much it's driven as well as the energy to build and fuel it) was less than half of that of a medium-sized dog (footprint based on land used to generate his food).

This Month's Edition of "We Don't Know How This Announcement Ends" (Get-a-Room Edition)
"The Chrysler Brand: Provocative Designs Engineered for Passionate Living"

Hemis on Parade
Over at the Walter P. Chrysler Museum in Auburn Hills, Michigan, you can check out a new exhibition called What Can You Hemi?, and that answer is five-fold. Four of the Hemi-powered displays focus on finalists from the 2005 contest Chrysler held for inventing functional stuff with a Hemi. Those were a merry-go-round, a snow blower, a resurfacer that smoothes ice, and a BBQ. Rounding out the pack is the Chrysler air raid siren that started as a wartime siren to deafen the enemy, but then became a tornado civil defense device. The exhibition runs through May 2. Find out more at

PhotosView Slideshow

Things to Do With Your Jeep
•March 25-27: 6th Texas Spur Spring, hosted by Jeep Jamboree USA, Llano, TX,

•April 22-24: 6th Tennessee Mountains, hosted by Jeep Jamboree USA, Llano, TX,

•April 22-24: 17th Cajun, hosted by Jeep Jamboree USA, St. Francisville, LA,

•April 29-May 1: 20th Arch Canyon, hosted by Jeep Jamboree USA, San Juan County, UT,

•April 29-May 1: 13th Land Between the Lakes, hosted by Jeep Jamboree USA, Marshall County, KY,

•May 6-8: 17th Pine Barrens, hosted by Jeep Jamboree USA, Hammonton, NJ,

•May 13-15: 18th Big Bear, hosted by Jeep Jamboree USA, Big Bear Lake, CA,

•May 13-15: 22nd Palo Duro, hosted by Jeep Jamboree USA, Amarillo, TX,

•May 14-16: Jeep Beach 2010, hosted by Mid Florida Jeep Club, Daytona Motor Speedway, Daytona Beach, FL,

•May 22-23: Iron Range Offroad driving school, Iron Range OHV Park, near Minneapolis and St. Paul, MN,

•May 27-29: 2nd Cullman Alabama, hosted by Jeep Jamboree USA, Cullman, AL,

•May 29-31: Rockstock 2010, hosted by Mid Rivers Jeep Thing, Flat Nasty Off Road Park, Jadwin, MS,

•June 3-5: 19th Canyon de Chelly, hosted by Jeep Jamboree USA, Chinle, AZ,

•June 5-6: Customer Appreciation Event, hosted by Badlands Off-Road Adventures, Hungry Valley SVRA, Gorman, CA

•June 10-12: 1st Badlands, hosted by Jeep Jamboree USA, Attica, IN,

•June 11: Vehicle Inspection Clinic, hosted by Badlands Off-Road Adventures, Hungry Valley SVRA, Gorman, CA

•June 11-13: Crawl 4 Christ 2010, hosted by UCORA and Christian Crawlers 4x4 Club, Southern Missouri Off-Road Ranch, Seymour, MS,

•June 12-13: Beginning Off-Road 4x4 Skills Clinic, hosted by Badlands Off-Road Adventures, Hungry Valley SVRA, Gorman, CA

•June 14-15: Getting Started Off-Road 4x4 Skills Clinic, hosted by Badlands Off-Road Adventures, Hungry Valley SVRA, Gorman, CA

•June 17-19: 18th Drummond Island, hosted by Jeep Jamboree USA, Drummund Island, MI,

•June 17-19: 13th Penn's Woods, hosted by Jeep Jamboree USA, Bradford, PA,

•June 19: 4WD Spotting Skills Clinic, hosted by Badlands Off-Road Adventures, Hungry Valley SVRA, Gorman, CA

•June 19-20: Iron Range Offroad driving school, Iron Range OHV Park, near Minneapolis and St. Paul, MN,

•June 26: Rock Skills Clinic, hosted by Badlands Off-Road Adventures, Johnson Valley, Lucerne Valley, CA

•June 27: Picking Lines, hosted by Badlands Off-Road Adventures, Johnson Valley, Lucerne Valley, CA

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