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Norm talked about these things in "The Death of Jeep" thread. The Grand Cherokee took Jeep into a new segment of luxury and performance. Wrangler keeps increasing in price and amenities. But was Jeep ready for this?

Yes, it was more than 20 years ago that Jeep entered the premium segment. Every generation of Grand Cherokee (WJ, WK and WK2) took Jeep further upmarket in terms of both luxury and performance (SRT).

Remember, the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT was the best selling SRT model.

But in those 20 years....under Chrysler, Daimler and Fiat, the company never addressed the fundamental issues.....quality, safety and reliability with superior customer service. At least Cerberus (22 months of ownership) tried with the Customer Advisory Board and the Limited Lifetime Powertrain Warranty.

Now, we see the latest FCA vehicle being given a priority for production, but no priority for quality.

We can only hope that Stellantis reacts to this and breaks the 20 year cycle of incompetence.
 

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Norm talked about these things in "The Death of Jeep" thread. The Grand Cherokee took Jeep into a new segment of luxury and performance. Wrangler keeps increasing in price and amenities. But was Jeep ready for this?

Yes, it was more than 20 years ago that Jeep entered the premium segment. Every generation of Grand Cherokee (WJ, WK and WK2) took Jeep further upmarket in terms of both luxury and performance (SRT).

Remember, the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT was the best selling SRT model.

But in those 20 years....under Chrysler, Daimler and Fiat, the company never addressed the fundamental issues.....quality, safety and reliability with superior customer service. At least Cerberus (22 months of ownership) tried with the Customer Advisory Board and the Limited Lifetime Powertrain Warranty.

Now, we see the latest FCA vehicle being given a priority for production, but no priority for quality.

We can only hope that Stellantis reacts to this and breaks the 20 year cycle of incompetence.
Well said Erik.

a couple of thoughts:
1. EVERYONE in the industry has raised their games on quality, but Stellantis brands haven’t kept pace. We’ll see if that changes.
2. perceived quality becomes MORE important as the price rises. Jeep knew this and it’s why they focused so much effort on the dealer experience prior to launch. They clearly should have looked closer to home too.
3. The Jeep brand HAS historically had the ability to flex into luxury territory. The original Grand Wagoneer is proof. BUT, the competition is much stiffer today than it was 30+ years ago in the luxury SUV segment. Cadillac, Lincoln, Lexus, Mercedes, Land Rover, etc all have entrants today. Only Land Rover did 30 years ago.

I’ve always wondered how much of a difference the Customer Advisory Board made. I was proud to be on it and really enjoyed the sessions with Ralph Gilles, Doug Betts, and Klause Busse, and we did see a lot of what was discussed addressed in new product launches and refreshes. Not sure how much Auburn Hills listens today.
 

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So let me get this straight. These vehicles are run through a multitude of tests to detect rattles, etc. But body panel/door alignment doesn't matter ... :unsure:
Yes, great point!

The company made a big marketing splash about its testing to improve quality (which was nothing magical as most of the industry does the same already).

It shows that fluff and marketing are still more important than quality.
 

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While it's not uncommon to have "teething" issues on new models, these should be kept at the plant and out of dealers hands until they are fixed. My fear is the crack management teams past history of it's good enough and ship it mentality.
 

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So let me get this straight. These vehicles are run through a multitude of tests to detect rattles, etc. But body panel/door alignment doesn't matter ... :unsure:
I guess the misaligned panels/doors didn’t rattle?
 

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I have felt for some time that many unionized workforce’s in the USA develop an “us against them” mentality, which is fostered by their leadership. Quality and professional work ends up taking a backseat to the “us” mentality.
Except no, research shows that's generally not the case except when management spurs it on. Why did you think unions were created in the first place? Because managers were too nice?
 

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The company made a big marketing splash about its testing to improve quality (which was nothing magical as most of the industry does the same already).
As they did when Fiat came in and introduced its various tools for checking the alignment of each car's body panels.

None of this works if plant management tells people they have ten minutes per car and if it doesn't work, ship it and the dealer will do it.

That may work at Mercedes but Jeep dealers generally don't do any real prep. They only charge for it.
 

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I think that all of the buyouts/mergers in the past 20 years hasn't helped either. With each, has come new leadership (or lack thereof :confused:), vision (???), and a path forward. This constant change of direction/plans affects a company's ability to come up with a consistent way to address quality control. Out of the CDJR group, the only member that has shown consistent improvement has been Ram. Stellantis needs to seriously focus it's efforts on taking best practices from Ram, and whatever other divisions have shown quality improvement, and assign a strong leader to use those in a Quality Control group that uses same practices across the corporation. I don't care if you are building horse & buggies or electric cars.
 

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That honestly looks like someone screwed up the quarter panels and lights, because from where I'm sitting (which can be wrong!) the tailgate alignment looks perfect, and the rear lights are angled downward.
Looks like a stamping problem tbh. The top part right above the light lines up with the 1/4 but the lower details below the light don’t line up at all. One of gm big full size suv has a messed up highlight due to a stamping defect that wasn’t due to them, but the supplier, so stuff like this can happen.
 

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I think that all of the buyouts/mergers in the past 20 years hasn't helped either. With each, has come new leadership (or lack thereof :confused:), vision (???), and a path forward. This constant change of direction/plans affects a company's ability to come up with a consistent way to address quality control. Out of the CDJR group, the only member that has shown consistent improvement has been Ram. Stellantis needs to seriously focus it's efforts on taking best practices from Ram, and whatever other divisions have shown quality improvement, and assign a strong leader to use those in a Quality Control group that uses same practices across the corporation. I don't care if you are building horse & buggies or electric cars.
Ram had a ton of teething problems too, a ton of recalls, tone of parts not fitting correctly, part suppliers or parts getting changed on the fly. We have a early 19 ram and the hood is hard to close while our neighbor also has a 19 ram but built later and has a way easier time closing the hood with some changes to the hood latch. I don’t think anything from the cdjr us ever has a smooth launch either be it quality issues or always pushed back
 

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As they did when Fiat came in and introduced its various tools for checking the alignment of each car's body panels.

None of this works if plant management tells people they have ten minutes per car and if it doesn't work, ship it and the dealer will do it.

That may work at Mercedes but Jeep dealers generally don't do any real prep. They only charge for it.
It has to go higher than the plant management. It must come from the brand CEO and from the CEO themselves.

This is up to Christian Meunier to correct. He needs to set the expectations of quality and not allow this.
 

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Looks like a stamping problem tbh. The top part right above the light lines up with the 1/4 but the lower details below the light don’t line up at all. One of gm big full size suv has a messed up highlight due to a stamping defect that wasn’t due to them, but the supplier, so stuff like this can happen.
Stamping dies are specified by the manufacturer, not the supplier. The dies are made to the manufacturer's drawings and if they are out of specification, then nobody checked them, which is the manufacturer's fault.

This quality all goes right to the top of the organization and must be driven downward.
 

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Stamping dies are specified by the manufacturer, not the supplier. The dies are made to the manufacturer's drawings and if they are out of specification, then nobody checked them, which is the manufacturer's fault.

This quality all goes right to the top of the organization and must be driven downward.
At the end of the day yes it is their job to make sure everything is perfect but the majority of the time stampings are coming from a supplier of some sort that really fucked up. I know for a fact someone at the supplier messed up the highlights for the gm vehicle as no company would ever release highlights like that between the designers and math team.
 

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At the end of the day yes it is their job to make sure everything is perfect but the majority of the time stampings are coming from a supplier of some sort that really fucked up. I know for a fact someone at the supplier messed up the highlights for the gm vehicle as no company would ever release highlights like that between the designers and math team.
Having been a supplier with dies, I can tell you that if the manufacturer cares about quality, they will force the supplier to make new dies or correct the current dies.
 

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I sent the picture to Christian Meunier and let him know it was getting social media attention.
 

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As far removed as top management can be, they/he might not even be aware of it. Of course surprise visits to the plants can have big benefits as well.
 
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