If the rumor mills are correct, then there's a new Jeep on the Horizon.
As the effects of the economic downturn roll around the world, major changes
have had to take place with the Big Three automakers. Jeep enthusiasts
have their eyes turned towards Chrysler Holding LLC as feared cutbacks and restructuring
takes place. Fans of the Jeep can't help but wonder what will become of the beloved
Jeep brand and the roots of the true 4 wheel drive, solid axle vehicles.
Well my Jeep loving friends, fear not. There is good news.
Actually quite possibly GREAT news for Jeep ... that is IF the news from Source Interlink Publication
media outlet JP Magazine is true. But in any case this
is what we've heard about the Jeep brand.
International Harvester and the IH Scout? In 1980, the last of the International Harvester
Scouts rolled off the assembly line and so did the last of what many considered
to be a bull of a work horse 4x4. 29 years later International, a
Navistar, Inc. company, is still
around as a truck manufacturer producing some of the best workhorse machines in
the world. As General Motors and Cerberus Capital Management, L.P., who is
a current investor in Chrysler, work on a
merger deal to form General Chrysler Motors, or GCM, attention is centered
around two brand names, Dodge and Jeep. General Chrysler Motors is
planning to announce as soon as the merger is complete, that the Jeep brand has
been sold to
International. International Buys Jeep.
So what does this mean for Jeep? Sources say that under "International
Jeep", a few lines are on the chopping block. The Patriot, Commander
and Compass have been discontinued by model year 2010. The Jeep Wrangler
and the Grand Cherokee will be retained with some changes.
Big news for the Wrangler! Chryslers plans to transform the Wrangler to
an Independent Front Suspension (IFS) in 2013 has apparently been scrapped and
the addition of a 5.7 Liter Hemi option for the JK is planned and under
contract! Along with the JK's Hemi option International plans to offer the
Cherokee's 3.0L V6 and offer the option of the 4.5L V6 Maxxforce Navistar diesel
engine! That should help alleviate some complaints about the JK's lack of
torque! Coupled to the Maxxforce will be an Allison 1000 5-speed
transmission. Imagine that package in a JK Rubicon.
As for the Jeep Grand Cherokee, it will continue to offer the gas engine as
well as the 3.0L diesel engine and the planned redesign of the Grand Cherokee
will be delayed by a few years. Liberty fans may be happy to hear that it will
be offered with the 3.0L V-6 diesel package as well. International intends
to lower the cost of the Mercedes 3.0L V-6 diesel package through greater
purchase numbers from Mercedes. The volume numbers will bring the package
purchase price from Mercedes down to $3,300 per as compared to $5,500 that
Chrysler was paying. Sources say the Wrangler diesel package will run in
the neighborhood of $3000. while the Jeep Grand Cherokee will remain at $1500.
The 4.5L V6 Maxxforce Navistar diesel engine in the Wrangler will enter as a
Other good news points coming out of the sale of Jeep to International
Navistar, Inc. is that a
Rubicon package will be offered with all retained Jeep models! This
package will include a 4:1 transfer case (gas models only), front and rear
lockers and electronic sway bar disconnects. The transfer case in the
diesel powered Jeeps will be the NV2450R transfer case with the 2.72:1 low range
and center locking differential. The Rubicon Package on the Jeep Grand
Cherokee and the Jeep Liberty will feature a factory 1½
inch lift as well as 245/75R17 BFG MT KM2 tires for both the Liberty and the
Grand Cherokee. Also there is good news for workforces at Chrysler plants in that International has
signed a contract to retain the key Chrysler employees.
It is also rumored that the Liberty name will eventually be discontinued and will once
again become the Cherokee both overseas and here in the United States.
Even more intriguing is word that future Grand Cherokee and Liberty lines will
use solid front axles. Finally there is talk of reviving a few familiar
names from the past, the Scout, the Carryall and the Travelall in the form of
prototypes to test the markets.
All said and done IF, and we emphasis IF these news bits are true, these are
good things in store for the Jeep brand. A return to the origins of real 4
wheel drive merged with the long awaited introduction of the torque of a diesel
engine to these treasured true offroad vehicles. And then we realized
something. This was JP's April issue. Good one Trasborg, you S.O.B.
International Navistar Inc. Home Page
Capital Management, L.P.
Cerberus Press Releases and Public Statements
International Navistar, Inc. press releases
Chrysler News and Press Releases