New Tires, New Wheels, New Grand
Jeep News & Rumors
• Did you say you wanted to know which vehicles spent the longest time sitting on the dealer lot last year? Making the TrueCar list of 2011 vehicles with the longest days in inventory was the Wrangler Unlimited, with 204 days. For perspective, the Infiniti G37 convertible won/lost the title with 262 days. Meanwhile, the Toyota RAV4 was 10 days. Hey, you asked.
• Custom Grand Cherokee SRT8s were handed over to Scuderia Ferrari Formula One drivers Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa. They had special red interiors, the Italian flag under the rear spoiler, and other unique design cues for the “Ferrari ambassadors.” You might be thinking, “So why aren’t they getting custom Ferraris?” That would be because the SRT8 model’s arrival in Europe begins in May. Duh.
• What is 18 months, standard engine, Grand Cherokee? That’s right, the Pentastar V-6, which first launched in the ’10 Grand that long ago, and has already reached the milestone of one millionth assembled.
• Lookie here: Jeep sales are on the rise. We mean in Europe. Like, they rose 61.8 percent in 2011 as compared to 2010. Sales were up 117.6 percent in Italy. Can’t you just say up 100 percent? How can something be more than 100 percent? Sales are up completely-and-a-half stuff? Nonsense. We didn’t major in math, by the way.
• Plans for that new compact Jeep seem to be on hold, at least until 2014.
• Every year, Hagerty (it handles classic-car insurance) has valuations experts decide which mass-produced vehicles with an MSRP of less than $100,000 will eventually become collectible. The sexier way to put that is, hey, the Grand Cherokee SRT8 made the 2012 Hagerty Hot List! Just be sure not to take it out of the packaging, or it becomes worthless.
• The Liberty is getting probed, and not in the good way—the investigation into oops-style airbag deployment widened and may lead to a recall of some ’02 to ’03 models.
• The California New Car Dealers Association’s California Auto Outlook, 4th Quarter 2011 revealed Jeep vehicle registrations were up in that state, with a 35.8 percent change from 2010 to 2011. Of the top five in the midsize SUV category, the Grand Cherokee’s regs landed it in fourth place.
• Redo of website alert: The Walter P. Chrysler Museum site (wpchryslermuseum.org) got a bit easier to use and view. There’s an online community, more images, tons of Chrysler history, and other goods.
• Watch for a new Dick Cepek wheel to arrive sometime around June. The Torque Gun Metal wheel will be like the Torque wheel design, but in a new Gun Metal finish.
• Chevy is adding Ecologic environmental labeling to its vehicles in the U.S. to let buyers see manufacturing, driving, and recycling benefits related to its models. You know, the benefits unrelated to printing out the labels and the subsequent throwing away of the labels.
• The eBay Motors app just hit version 1.4.0; with that comes upgrades, like a new search feature. Use the vehicle finder to snap a photo of a vehicle and then find it on eBay. That’s right, no typing needed, you lazy among us.
• Summit Racing Equipment has added loads of chassis and suspension products, including Currie, Skyjacker, and King Shocks.
• Master-Pull has a limited-edition green winch rope, with a portion of proceeds being donated to the Johnson Valley defense fund set up by the California Motorized Recreation Council. It’s about keeping public lands open, specifically the Johnson Valley OHV area, home to the Hammer trails and the King of the Hammers event. Go to masterpull.com. Now.
• Superchips (aka Powerteq now) is an official sponsor/official programmer of the AreaBFE off-road park near Moab, Utah.
• Nitto Tire has launched driving-line.com, an original-content channel with stuff like profile pieces on racers and automotive destinations all over the world.
• Mopar has turned 75 years old.
• Lincoln has turned 90 years old. No, we mean the brand. The other Lincoln would be highly inaccurate.
Quote Without Story
“Finalizing the solution for how to build Jeep [in Russia] is exactly where we are now.”
—Mike Manley, President and CEO of Jeep, according to Automotive News.