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Old 02-28-2016, 09:07 PM
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Would Fiat consider ditching the 2-door Wrangler?

A couple of weeks back, FCA released an update on its business plan. In covering the plan, the Detroit Free Press noted that Jeep is moving the production of the Wrangler to a plant in Toledo that makes Cherokees currently.

I noticed that page 17 lists some notes on regulatory compliance with emissions standards, and lists only the 4-door Wrangler. The Cherokee is closer in size to the four-door, so it would make sense that the 4D Wrangler be made there, but is it possible that FCA is getting ready to ditch the 2D altogether? The 4D outsells the 2D by a decent margin, so what if the rumors that the 2D will get some extra length to add the longer drive train are wrong and Jeep is just planning to drop the 2-door?

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Old 02-28-2016, 09:21 PM   #2
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Wrangler is the flagship of Jeep and if they ever had to get a redesign right it would be with it and FCA knows it and have said it on many of occasions. If the new JL was received like the new Cherokee they'd be in a world of hurt and I'm sure they have learned from that.

So I'm sure you'll see a 2 door JL Wrangler otherwise there would be hell to pay from the purists.

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Old 02-28-2016, 09:28 PM   #3
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Right off the bat that whole thing is a mess as far as an article, first off the wrangler has been built in Toledo for a very long time. Well since Willys was awarded the contract for military jeeps. (Yes I know it wasn't a wrangler back then) There was a time where they were built in Canada (1986-1992 in Ontario) but they are certainly not moving back to Toledo. They are already here. The Cherokee line is moving out to allow for production of the wrangler pickup truck. I highly doubt fiat would be so foolish to drop the two door. A 4door redesign would have absolutely no historical significance and the Jeep would be officially dead in my mind at least.
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Old 02-28-2016, 09:52 PM   #4
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The four door might sell more but the two door still sells tons. Wrangler is the flagship of the brand, the two door isn't going anywhere.
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Old 02-28-2016, 09:53 PM   #5
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A 4door redesign would have absolutely no historical significance and the Jeep would be officially dead in my mind at least.
This.

Lets hope they're not that stupid.
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Old 02-29-2016, 08:51 AM   #6
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Right off the bat that whole thing is a mess as far as an article, first off the wrangler has been built in Toledo for a very long time. Well since Willys was awarded the contract for military jeeps. (Yes I know it wasn't a wrangler back then) There was a time where they were built in Canada (1986-1992 in Ontario) but they are certainly not moving back to Toledo. They are already here. The Cherokee line is moving out to allow for production of the wrangler pickup truck. I highly doubt fiat would be so foolish to drop the two door. A 4door redesign would have absolutely no historical significance and the Jeep would be officially dead in my mind at least.
IMHO, it was just a poor choice of words. The article also summaries:
The company’s plan is designed to relieve capacity constraints ... in Toledo, where the Jeep Cherokee and Jeep Wrangler is made.
Also, remember, for a time, FCA was threatening to move the Wrangler out of Toledo. In other words, the JL didn't have a definite home.
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Old 02-29-2016, 08:53 AM   #7
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If they are that stupid, I am going to laugh all the way to the bank when my Rubicon-X skyrockets in value....LOL
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Old 02-29-2016, 08:59 AM   #8
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When it comes to automotive manufacturing (tooling), it's always been and always will be more profitable to have minimal tooling setups and changes during any given model year. In the long term, Jeep may save a lot of manufacturing cost if the 2 door was eliminated but I believe there would be a lot of unhappy Wrangler buyers. I'm probably only one of many that do not need nor want a 4 door. I just don't need the added space or cost of a four (4) door Wrangler. I am considering a new pickup when they are available.
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Old 02-29-2016, 09:12 AM   #9
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Would Fiat consider ditching the 2-door Wrangler?
Answer:
Yes, they will consider it. They consider everything. Some Junior exec will bring it up at a meeting in order to pretend like he is thinking outside the box. This guy will promptly be laughed at, and he will not speak in a meeting again for 3 months.
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Old 02-29-2016, 09:29 AM   #10
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I am considering a new pickup when they are available.
You might not be the only one. Could the two-door pickup be the choice, then, for those who still want only two doors?
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Old 02-29-2016, 09:46 AM   #11
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You might not be the only one. Could the two-door pickup be the choice, then, for those who still want only two doors?
If I wanted a 4 door, I would have more than likely bought a Tacoma TRD Pro/Off-Road. So I guess I look at this from the flip side...lol
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Old 02-29-2016, 10:18 AM   #12
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Short answer - No

Why? Because there is No compelling Business Reason to discontinue the 2 door.
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Old 02-29-2016, 10:31 AM   #13
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The 4-door has been responsible for all the incremental sales we see, but the 2-door still accounts for 1/3 of Wrangler sales, or roughly the same volume at which it always sold. Jeep is not going to throw all that away.

The 4-door outsells the 2-door due to everyday on-road practicality. But after having wheeled both 2 and 4-door Wranglers, I can't see myself wheeling in a 4-door again: it just doesn't feel as right in the trail as the 2-door. And I am sure I am not alone.
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Old 02-29-2016, 04:23 PM
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the 2-door still accounts for 1/3 of Wrangler sales, or roughly the same volume at which it always sold.
I don't know that they would be throwing a lot away, versus what they get in return. Sure, us diehards would be unhappy with it, but the move to a four-door only world means a longer drive train and more stability. They are rolling out hybrid/electric options that would be largely useless for offroading because hybrid engines use electric at low speed - which is most common on the trails.

Their sales numbers indicate they are already selling more Renegades than Wranglers (see: http://www.fcagroup.com/en-US/invest...lan_Update.pdf, page 12). If the 2-door only makes up 50k out of 151k Wranglers sold last year, they aren't really losing a huge amount compared to what they may gain in production and sales by focusing all their attention on the suburban housewife market.
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Old 02-29-2016, 04:53 PM   #15
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They are rolling out hybrid/electric options that would be largely useless for offroading because hybrid engines use electric at low speed - which is most common on the trails.
Why is having electric at low speed bad for trails? IMHO, electric would be the best possible power source for trails because electric motors give you far, far more low-end torque than any other source, including diesel.
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Old 02-29-2016, 06:55 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by yacc View Post
Answer:
Yes, they will consider it. They consider everything. Some Junior exec will bring it up at a meeting in order to pretend like he is thinking outside the box. This guy will promptly be laughed at, and he will not speak in a meeting again for 3 months.
This is funny... I see this happen all the time where I work. The difference -- we act on these ideas without considering VOC.

... Then we lose customers.
... Then we layoff people.
... Then the Junior exec w/MBA gets promoted.

The reality of bringing in new blood with fresh ideas.

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Old 02-29-2016, 07:28 PM   #17
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Well, if you want the Area 51 conspiracy theory angle... Don't forget that Italy was part of the Axis forces in WW2. Would the elimination of the 2dr Jeep, courtesy of the ghost of Benito Mussolini, be Italys ultimate revenge?
(Cue the spooky Scooby-Doo type music).
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Old 02-29-2016, 09:36 PM   #18
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Jeep isn't getting rid of the two door. If the 1/3 2 door and 2/3 4 door number is right that's about 67k vehicles last year alone assuming the 200k sales figure I saw the other day is right. Spread that out over the traditionally long lifecycle of the Wrangler and there is no reason to dump it. I may be in the minority but if the Wrangler were only a 4-door, I'd of bought something else.

As for the tooling cost concern, the difference in 2 door vs. 4 door is nothing in terms of manufacturing. They already roll down the line without difficulty and will continue to do so. Most auto plants are configured so they can make entirely different vehicles on the same line, at the same time. I think GM's Grand River plant in Lansing does the ATS, CTS and Camaro now for example.


As for the Renegade outselling Wrangler, of course it does. It's actually a daily driver friendly vehicle. Our Wranglers really aren't no matter how much any of us try to excuse away it's shortcomings. Also the Renegade is widely sold overseas whereas the Wrangler is far less common.
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Old 02-29-2016, 09:37 PM   #19
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Well, if you want the Area 51 conspiracy theory angle... Don't forget that Italy was part of the Axis forces in WW2. Would the elimination of the 2dr Jeep, courtesy of the ghost of Benito Mussolini, be Italys ultimate revenge?
(Cue the spooky Scooby-Doo type music).
In fact, Jeep was owned by the Germans (Daimler) before it was owned by the Italians. The Japanese are next in line...
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Old 02-29-2016, 09:48 PM   #20
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In fact, Jeep was owned by the Germans (Daimler) before it was owned by the Italians. The Japanese are next in line...
I've made that joke before. 2 of the 3 Axis powers have had their chance to run Chrysler so it's only fair Japan gets a try.


If Toyota sold the 70-Series Land Cruiser here that they sell in other markets I'd be all over that, especially if they offered something comparable to the Rubi with lockers and other upgrades.
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Old 02-29-2016, 09:51 PM   #21
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Nothing against the 4 door and not trying to turn this into another 2 door vs 4 door thread...but I wouldn't buy one if it wasn't a 2 door. Just my opinion. I also wouldn't have bought an automatic. Being a 2 door manual was a must for me. It's a jeep thing though...I've driven autos and 4 doors that weren't jeeps and liked them. That being said and not knowing any stats off hand I think 2 door manuals are by far not the majority. However, they do sell. So, I don't see a reason to discontinue them.
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Old 02-29-2016, 10:07 PM
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When it comes to automotive manufacturing (tooling), it's always been and always will be more profitable to have minimal tooling setups and changes during any given model year. In the long term, Jeep may save a lot of manufacturing cost if the 2 door was eliminated but I believe there would be a lot of unhappy Wrangler buyers. I'm probably only one of many that do not need nor want a 4 door. I just don't need the added space or cost of a four (4) door Wrangler. I am considering a new pickup when they are available.
Unhappy, yes. But what else would they buy? There is no longer a Ford Bronco or Defender (though both are rumored) and Toyota took the Land Cruiser FAR afield from what it was as the FJ40.

The only real option is the four-door. So they may be unhappy about it, but My guess is they wouldn't lose a lot of sales.

Jeep sold 151k Wranglers last year. If the two-door is 30% of Wrangler sales (the estimates I have found top out around there), based on the number I see modified versus the number I see stock, I have to figure they wouldn't lose more than 10% of the 50k. So they lose 5,000 Jeeps that they would more than make up with sales to soccer moms.
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Old 02-29-2016, 10:10 PM
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Why is having electric at low speed bad for trails? IMHO, electric would be the best possible power source for trails because electric motors give you far, far more low-end torque than any other source, including diesel.
Granted, though I have always understood hybrids rely on the engine running at higher speeds to engage the recharging capability. So the life of the battery in a high-torque/low-speed environment would seem to be limited.

Maybe I have that wrong, but don't the hybrids typically need to break 25 or more to trigger charging?
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Old 02-29-2016, 10:17 PM   #24
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In fact, Jeep was owned by the Germans (Daimler) before it was owned by the Italians. The Japanese are next in line...
Lol... good point.
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Old 02-29-2016, 10:58 PM   #25
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Granted, though I have always understood hybrids rely on the engine running at higher speeds to engage the recharging capability. So the life of the battery in a high-torque/low-speed environment would seem to be limited. Maybe I have that wrong, but don't the hybrids typically need to break 25 or more to trigger charging?


It's all vehicle dependent. Most can charge when coasting (regenerative braking). That won't work offroad well at all. The only way I can see the hybrid being beneficial offroad is if the Jeep had a mode to support maximum charging so the motor can run for long periods at low speeds. No current hybrid can do that. Something Volt-like would be best as that truly uses the gas engine as a generator rather than a direct drive.
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Old 03-01-2016, 10:53 AM   #26
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Short answer - No

Why? Because there is No compelling Business Reason to discontinue the 2 door.
IMO, it's pretty much this simple. Killing the 2 door wouldn't result in more $, so it's not happening.
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Old 03-01-2016, 11:03 AM   #27
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No 2 door Jeep would end my relationship with them.
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Old 03-01-2016, 03:25 PM
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IMO, it's pretty much this simple. Killing the 2 door wouldn't result in more $, so it's not happening.
I'm not so sure about that. The 2-door sells for about $4k less than the 4-door. Let's say they lose 10 percent from people who would only buy two-doors. That's about 5,000 vehicles. They can make that up easily with increased production of four-doors. Not only do they still sell the same 45k Wranglers to people who would have bought two, but bought four instead, but they make $4k more off of them. If a two-door averages $30k retail, they lose $150 million and gain $180 million off the four-door sales.

They also have reduced costs from only assembling one vehicle, and storing one set of parts.

Fiat is already replacing the Compass and Patriot with one vehicle, and are looking to reduce other lines, so consolidation of two versions of one vehicle isn't exactly a stretch.
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Old 03-01-2016, 03:29 PM   #29
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Economics aside, it will be a lose lose situation for them in the long run.
I'm glad I'm old enough that I don't have to put up with the New World Order.
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Old 03-01-2016, 04:31 PM   #30
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I'm not so sure about that. The 2-door sells for about $4k less than the 4-door. Let's say they lose 10 percent from people who would only buy two-doors. That's about 5,000 vehicles. They can make that up easily with increased production of four-doors. Not only do they still sell the same 45k Wranglers to people who would have bought two, but bought four instead, but they make $4k more off of them. If a two-door averages $30k retail, they lose $150 million and gain $180 million off the four-door sales.

They also have reduced costs from only assembling one vehicle, and storing one set of parts.

Fiat is already replacing the Compass and Patriot with one vehicle, and are looking to reduce other lines, so consolidation of two versions of one vehicle isn't exactly a stretch.
Interesting argument, although I suspect they'd lose more than 10% of their 2 door sales.

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