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Sergio: Wrangler and Alfa

Sergio Marchionne

“To redesign the Wrangler is the riskiest thing you could do… if you’re talking about stubstantially upgrading the Wrangler… yes.”  So said Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne at today’s “executive briefing,” webcast live from Cobo Hall in Detroit.

There have been debates over the knockdown windshield and removable door. “I don’t know how many people who own Wranglers have ever done that.” Still, Jeep can’t remove those attributes, even though the vehicle must be lightened and the powertrain must be updated. “You can update it, but you can’t change it.”

Full implementation is less than 24 months away. Volume is a problem, especially since the company has committed to not making Wranglers (for North America) outside of Toledo.

As for the Cherokee, Mr. Marchionne said they still needed a larger market share, but that he thought they could achieve it.

Mr. Marchionne also said he intended to build and sell a million Jeeps — when the company sold roughly 750,000 vehicles, total, during 2013. One of his primary goals over the next years is the internationalization of Jeep.

“There’s a brand new lineup of products coming out of Alfa Romeo that you will see in 2015.” These will be sold from Alfa Romeo dealerships.

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