•$500 million will be invested into the Toledo Assembly Complex—part of the $1.7 billion in prep for when the Liberty’s replacement is built, beginning in 2013.
•ALG is all about residual values and depreciation. And, apparently, handing out awards. So, who won its compact-utility category for retaining the highest percentage of original price after a three-year span? The ’12 Wrangler. Yeah, you may be doing the math on that ’12/three-years thing, but don’t bother—just accept the happy.
•More awards: It will always be a super ’80s-sounding award name to us, but since it went to the ’12 Wrangler, we’ll sorta ignore that. The Jeep was named SEMA award winner for Hottest 4x4 SUV, which is bestowed on manufacturers whose vehicles seem to be great platforms for which to accessorize with aftermarket parts.
•More, more awards: While we’re on the subject of ’80s-sounding award names, our sister pub 4-Wheel & Off-Road crowned that Jeep its 2012 4x4 of the Year.
•What’s that? The Compass set a monthly sales record? All right, we need you people to step forward and identify yourselves.
•Thanks to Chrysler’s ability to now tap into Fiat’s distribution in Europe and Latin America, look for Jeep to help give Chrysler more international flair. Wasn’t this also an episode of “The Sopranos”?
•Jessica Taskay was the millionth customer to buy a Chrysler certified preowned vehicle. It was a ’10 Patriot Sport. She earned a comprehensive warranty package for her troubles.
•Mopar has a new “Owner’s Center” website; put in your VIN and you can stare at vehicle service history and track service contracts, access a maintenance schedule, watch videos, check the warranty, and loads more. Head over to owners.jeep.com.
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•Look for Mark McMillin to pilot a Grand Cherokee in the ’12 Dakar Rally. The Jeep was the winner of the Jeepspeed 2007 Australian Safari Rally Stock class. For this race, the Hemi-equipped competitor will be in the Dakar Open Production 2 class.
•Ram is now offering a Special Service package (which sounds similar to the pickup line Editor Hazel would use on the ladies before he married; it’s in the public domain now, so go for it) for cops and other emergencies agencies. The 1500 Crew Cab 4x4 will include a Hemi, a larger oil cooler, a 220-amp alternator, and other things to make it easier to handle crises.
•Goodyear’s new North American HQ in Akron, Ohio, should be completed by 2013. The joint being left behind has housed the manufacturer for 85 years.
•Yokohama has added an educational video series called Tire Tips to its Yokohama Motorsports channel.
•Strattec scored two SEMA Global Media awards for its BOLT spare tire lock for ’91-and-newer Wranglers. It has something called Breakthrough One-Key Lock technology, making it so you don’t have to carry extra keys for the spare; it locks with the ignition key.
•How much is the self-proclaimed “world’s most expensive hand shovel”? About $129 and is called Ultimate Shovel. It’s from Extreme Outback Products.
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“This plant has been at the heart of what we’ve done. I’ve said publicly that I would never build the Wrangler outside the U.S. and outside of Toledo. These are things that are unthinkable—to assemble a Wrangler somewhere else.”
—Chrysler Group Chair and CEO, Sergio Marchionne, according to Automotive News
Wrangler and Liberty Gain Arctic Model
A winter-themed interior is one of the features of the new Arctic Wrangler and Liberty. Nope, that doesn’t mean that the seat heater has been replaced with a seat chiller and just a VAC system is on tap. But it does mean … Yeti. Also, they are both available in cold-sounding colors, such as Winter Chill and Bright White. Beyond that, you’ll see Arctic badging and decals and special-appearance trinkets (such as the Wrangler’s black fuel-filler door and taillight guards).
•Barfolicious: Kimberly-Clark Professional did testing in some major U.S. cities, including Los Angeles and Chicago, to determine the most Purell-worthy things we touch. Gas-pump handles for the win. Parking meters for the other win. Your hands? Fail.
•This sounds like it will have a happy ending: “Crashes vs. Congestions: What’s the Cost to Society?” a report by AAA. We bought the CliffsNotes and learned the annual cost is $299.5 billion for crashes, more than three times the $97.7 bil for congestion.
•This one has a better ending: CarMD released its first-ever Vehicle Health Index to reveal who were the top manufacturers based on data about check engine-related failures and repair costs. Among those with the fewest percentage was Chrysler, in 10th place.
Free Jp Mobile App
Your Jeep is always on the go, and now Jp magazine is, too! (Wow, that sounded totally lame. If we were working at the advertising agency on “Mad Men,” we’d totally have been fired following the afternoon cocktail.) Since becoming available in June, the Jp app has been downloaded 6,000 times. It’s free, which is a big part of its appeal. Well, that and Jeeps and Jp! It’s constantly updated, meaning there’s always a ton of fresh content, be it news, reviews, gearing/tire fitment calculators, the scoop on our project builds, and tons more. Wallpaper, a list of off-road parks, and other stuff can also be found, and you can share on Twitter, Facebook, or email. The app is compatible with the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad (iOS 3.2 or newer). Get it at iTunes.
Things To Do With Your Jeep
•March 2-4: TDS Desert Safari (50th Anniversary) hosted by Tiera Del Sol Jeep Club, Truckhaven Hills, California, tds4x4.com
•March 10: Getting Started Off-Road Driving hosted by Badlands Off-Road Adventures, Hungry Valley SVRA, Gorman, California, 4x4training.com
•March 11: Advanced Beginner Off-Road Driving hosted by Badlands Off-Road Adventures, El Paso Mountains, Mojave, California, 4x4training.com
•March 16: Death Valley Adventure hosted by Badlands Off-Road Adventures, Ridgecrest, California, 4x4training.com
•March 24: Mojave Road Adventure hosted by Badlands Off-Road Adventures, Mojave Desert, Needles, California, 4x4training.com
•March 29-31: Texas Spur Jeep Jamboree, hosted by Jeep Jamboree USA, Llano, Texas, jeepjamboreeusa.com
•March 29-31: Pine Barrens Jeep Jamboree, hosted by Jeep Jamboree USA, Hammonton, New Jersey, jeepjamboreeusa.com
•March 31-April 8: Moab Easter Jeep Safari hosted by Red Rock 4-Wheelers, Moab, Utah, rr4w.com
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