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September 2010 Dispatch - Jeep News

Posted in News on September 1, 2010
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Jeep News & Rumors
•Could it be true that the take-rate of the last-gen diesel'd Grand Cherokee was around 95 percent in Canada? That makes us think that the new-gen Grand will for sure get a diesel in North America, since Canada's emissions laws are just as tough as the U.S.'s. So, will it get the new Fiat version or the M-Class 3.0L Bluetec, since the Grand and M-Class share platform parts?


•More Grand news: '11 GC's power figures updated for your pleasure: The new 3.6L V-6 will make 290 hp (originally estimated at 280 ponies).

•Hey, even more Grand news: Pricing is in, with the Laredo 4x4 starting at $32,995, the Limited 4x4 at $39,995, and the Overland at $42,995.

•Let's keep that GC momentum going: Our favorite crashers, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, conducted rollover testing on the '11 Grand and '10 Liberty, evaluating roof strength. Both earned good ratings, but the Grand also got the IIHS Top Safety Pick award.


•Bonus '11 Grand item: The Jefferson North (Detroit) Assembly Plant got a makeover to coincide with the new GC. The 3-million-square-foot JNAP has produced the Grand since day one 1992, and part of its redo included a Silkwood-worthy shower, paint, expanding and replacing the existing body shop, a new metrology center, new employee training, and other important stuff to ensure that the Grand is built with love.


•Not an '11 Grand item: Remember ages ago when we told you someone bought an '00 Grand Cherokee that had previously belonged to President Obama and had hoped to sell it for beaucoup bucks? It went for $26,437.50 at auction. "I would have been willing to pay over $100,000 for it," the highest bidder told The Wall Street Journal. "Mmmkay," the highest-ranking staffer said in a Jp meeting.

•The fifth annual Walter P. Chrysler Museum Jeep cruise night will be held August 4. Food, music, vehicle displays, awards, and more; get info at

•River Raider Viper V-10-powered Raider RT JK to race Baja? Bring it, please.

•There's been a recall of more than 288,000 '06-'10 Wranglers. There's worry that the inner fender liners and corresponding brake lines could rub together, causing wear and resulting in brake fluid leaks. There's also been a voluntary recall of about 90 '07 Jeep Patriots with the auto trans due to a sticking gas pedal. The pedals were made by the same supplier Toyota used for its infamous ones.

•Jeep, not a Jeep: China's Xingyue Group Co.'s Jeepzter looked too much like the Hurricane concept, so Chrysler filed a complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission, according to BusinessWeek. A trademark-infringement lawsuit was also filed against three companies selling Jeepzters in the U.S. because the grille is very Wrangler.

Employee Quote of the Month
"Well, maybe because you did it while wearing only your Donald Duck boxer shorts, fuzzy Fozzy Bear bathroom slippers, and propeller beanie. That's probably why they were staring, laughing, and shooting video." -Tech Editor Hazel commenting on one of Editor Cappa's blog posts on Want to know what they're talking about? Then read the blogs, people. They're for you.

Quote Without Story"
"[It's the] basis on which we'll try to rebuild the Jeep brand on a global scale. It is the symbol of Jeep." -Chrysler's Sergio Marchionne on the new Grand Cherokee to Automotive News. No pressure, new Grand Cherokee

Industry News
•BFGoodrich has been having a good month or two: It won at the SCORE Baja 500 (for a total of 27 wins) and the SCORE Baja 1000 (23). This was its 35th year competing in Baja. Another bit of boasting: It has been inducted into the Horsepower Ranch Wall of Fame.

Father-and-son McMillin BFG team.

•Here's why activism is good-the National Off-Road Association partnered with Skyjacker and 4Wheel Drive Hardware to bring awareness to land-use/access issues. As part of that, a $1,000 Skyjacker gift card was up for grabs to anyone who became a free supporter of NORA. Norman Mitchell (and his '09 Wrangler) scored it.

•Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. donated a 100-year-old lifeboat from the Akron airship to the Smithsonian. The Akron was built in 1911, but lost at sea in 1912 during a transatlantic crossing, with the lifeboat being the only major item recovered. It's been in storage.

•The '11 GMC Sierra Denali 2500 HD is available in two-wheel drive.

•Nitto's also gone interactive: The system will help you pick what you need based on vehicle type and driving preferences. You can also do it by tire size(s).

•The 10,000th Atlas transfer case has been manufactured by Advance Adapters.

•Ford will euthanize Mercury this year to focus on Lincoln and itself. Mercury was 71.

•Speaking of aging, this year Range Rover hits 40.

Life story in one easy blink.

•When the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center opens in December, it will be called AMSOIL Arena.

•iPhone and iPod touch users can take advantage of the Toyo Tires mobile fitment guide, which features info on tire sizes and pressures. Check it out at


Auto Graphs
•Seatbelt use is at a record high-but 45 million Americans are still not wearing them.

•We're not sure of the number in the "not wearing" category here, but a survey by underwear company Jockey International revealed that the person Americans would most like to bring along on a road trip is George Clooney, followed by Will Smith, Will Ferrell, and a bunch of athletes. Sorry, Trasborg, you ranked on the list somewhere between the Jersey Shore people and a pair of used Jockey underwear.

•Wondering about that red decal on New Jersey license plates? It's part of a law to help identify the state's new drivers (the target is teens).

•The U.S. Senate proclaimed July 9 Collector Car Appreciation Day, thanks to the work of SEMA, the Automotive Restoration Market Organization, Senator Jon Tester of Montana, and Senator Richard Burr of North Carolina.

Collectors on their day.

•Need a book to read? Need it to be about wheeling in Colorado? The third-edition of Guide to Colorado Backroads & 4-Wheel-Drive Trails from FunTreks ( has arrived.

Book 'em.

•USA Today, by way of research by J.D. Power and Associates, reported that in the first quarter of this year, four-cylinder engines were found in 46.5 percent of new vehicles. It was 41.9 percent for the same window of time last year.

•Lord Jesus Christ was hit by a car. According to the Associated Press, a woman hit a pedestrian in the crosswalk in Northampton, Massachusetts, and when police checked his ID, they saw that was indeed his (or should we say His?) legal name.

• is noticing a trend in popularity of lease takeovers for pickups, most likely pointing to an improving economy and weather conducive to construction projects.

•Michelle Pelletier, who is a University of Rhode Island master's degree candidate, has developed a self-healing concrete. The technology behind it? A microencapsulated sodium silicate healing agent embedded in a concrete matrix; tiny stress cracks in the concrete make the capsules rupture, releasing the healing agent. It could mean safer roads and bridges in the future.

Smart chick and her smart concrete.

Why William Shatner is Cool (Reason #34)
Attention Twits: You might want to follow @williamshatner on Twitter if for no other reason than one of his top 10 vehicle picks was the "Willys Army Jeep." In case you care, the others making the cut were the Packard 426, Dodge Viper, Jaguar XKE, Chevy Corvair, Bugatti Veyron, Mercedes-Benz 300SL, Ferrari Enzo, Citroen 2CV, and Jaguar D-Type.

Car guy.

Things To Do With Your Jeep
•September 12: Fall Mud Bog hosted by Sodbusters Off Road Club, South Bend, IN,

•October 1-3: 24th Annual Dixie Run hosted by Southern Four Wheel Drive Association, Golden Mountain OHV Park, Sparta, TN,

•October 14-16: 4th Borrego Springs, hosted by Jeep Jamboree USA, Borrego Springs, CA,

•October 21-23: 17th Gateway to the Cumberlands, hosted by Jeep Jamboree USA, Williamsburg, KY,

Your Jeep, doing things.

•October 21-23: 12th Moab, hosted by Jeep Jamboree USA, Moab, UT,

•October 23-24: Fright Night by Point Mugu 4 Wheel Drive Club, Lockwood Valley/Miller Jeep 4x4 Trail, Gorman, CA, Point Mugu 4x4 on Facebook

•October 28-30: 17th Pine Barrens, hosted by Jeep Jamboree USA, Hammonton, NJ,

•October 28-30: 21st Ouachita, hosted by Jeep Jamboree USA, Hot Springs, AK,

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