by David Zatz • Posted on January 15th, 2013
Allpar asked Sergio Marchionne whether the company would be producing a version of a Jeep “such as the Wrangler” but at lower cost, for developing countries and markets such as India. While his answer focused on Wrangler by name (rather than, say, J-8), it appears that this is not in the works:
Not based on what I know today. I think we need to be very careful about touching Wrangler. I don’t want the cheap version of the Wrangler anyway.
The Wrangler is the Wrangler, so if we do anything else – and we will – it’s not going to be a Wrangler. It won’t be a degradation of the Wrangler brand, of the nameplate. I mean Wrangler is almost a brand within a brand and I think you need to be careful about protecting it for a variety of reasons.
But that doesn’t mean that we will not be producing Jeeps in India, and in fact the portfolio that we’re looking at right now in terms of development does incorporate a substantial expansion of the Jeep portfolio in India but through other nameplates which currently exist in our world – within the Jeep world – and some of which will be coming in 2014.
The timeframe indicates the upcoming Punto-based subcompact Jeep, already announced, and possibly the Jeep Liberty/Cherokee.
Fiat S.p.A. announced its second-quarter results from Turin this morning for what could be the last time, if shareholders approve the Fiat-Chrysler merger on Friday.
Worldwide shipments rose 2%, to 1.2 million, in the second quarter as revenues rose 5% to $31.2 billion
NAFTA region shipments grew 10% while Asia Pacific (APAC) region jumped 42%....
According to a report in Italian financial newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore, the government is considering offering tax incentives to boost car sales in the country.
“We are thinking of using fiscal levers to encourage a renewal of our car stocks,” Transport Minister Mauritzio Lupi said today. “We are evaluating this project because that is what it means to have an industrial policy for this country.”
“We have the oldest fleet in Europe,” Lupi went on to say....
Allpar’s sources tell us that, despite the clear acceleration and fuel-economy benefits of the eight-speed automatic, the police are demanding that Dodge stick with the old Mercedes five-speed on Charger squad cars.
In 2014, both police and civilian Chargers had the five-speed, though civilians got the eight-speed with the V6 — and in 2015, the eight-speed will be the only transmission in any civilian Dodge Charger, including the SRT....
In today’s print edition of Automotive News, Larry Vellequette wrote about one more facet of the ongoing battle for bragging rights among pickup manufacturers.
This time, Ram is engaged in a tussle with Ford over top towing rights. Ford claims the championship over the Ram 3500, saying its 4X4 crew cab heavy-duty pickup can tow 31,200 pounds, 1,200 more than the Ram 3500 regular cab 4X2, which Chrysler maintains has “best-in-class” towing....