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Today’s episode of the Jeep Talk Show is sponsored in part by ExtremeTerrain.com, leaders in 1987 to 2018 JL Wrangler Parts and Accessories. ExtremeTerrain makes it easy to mod your Wrangler by providing you with the expertise and customer support from their genuine Wrangler Experts. Stay tuned for the official JeepTalkShow announcement on ExtremeTerrain’s latest Wrangler armor giveaway from Deegan 38.
This Week In Jeep:
Mike Manely – Now The Man
The big question mulling around the automotive industry this last week, is what is Fiat Chrysler Automobiles without Sergio Marchionne, the man who basically handcrafted it?
Moving forward after Marchionne’s planned retirement in 2019 was always going to be a tough task for FCA. Here on the Jeep Talk Show, we’ve talked about many of the challenges and several of the rumors circulating about the famed ”passing-of-the-batton” as many were calling it when we first heard of Sersio’s retirement. Who was going to fill the role of CEO in one of the worlds largest automakers? Especially after one of the most formidable strategists the industry ever saw, was stepping down….? Who was going to fill those shoes? What direction will the company take moving forward? Was there going to be a merger, or massive sell off of this brand or that? But Marchionne’s unexpected death last week eliminated the chance to choreograph a smooth transition, something he had long planned for, and (at least in recent months) had talked about openly on several occasions, (albeit filled with turns of phrase more than epiphanies) What’s currently the focus of everyone’s attention is just that. Who’s taking over.? We’ve long called for Mike Maley former head of the Jeep Brand, ever since the news broke about Sergio wanting to retire. He is what many say was a natural choice as a successor for Mr. Marchionne. Now the title of CEO Mike Manley’s tenure got off to a rocky start this week, as the company lowered its earnings outlook for the year and shares dropped as much as 16 percent in the hours afterward. Wall Street’s reaction might not have been entirely about the company missing second-quarter earnings expectations or changing its fiscal outlook for the second half of the year; it also seemed to reflect the uncertainty created by FCA losing one of the most strategic and coveted CEOs in automotive history.
Jeep Sues Another “Jeep”
You guys may remember, back in march on episode 324, us reporting on a company who has long had a reputation with Jeep (Mahindra) releasing an off road only vehicle that – for everything but the grill – looked exactly like an old CJ. FCA filed a U.S. trade complaint seeking to prevent Indian automaker Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. from importing this off-road vehicle that looks just like its iconic Jeep.
The Fiat Chrysler group filed the complaint on Aug. 1 at the U.S. International Trade Commission, claiming that the model in question “The Mahindra Roxor” infringes key characteristics of Jeep’s signature trade dress ((QUOTE)) “namely the boxy body shape with flat-appearing vertical sides and rear body ending at about the same height as the hood. They are a nearly identical copy of the iconic Jeep design,” Fiat Chrysler said in its complaint, which included photos comparing the Roxor to the Jeep.
“In fact, the accused product was by the companies own admission ‘modeled after the original Willys Jeep.’” In 2017, Mumbai-based Mahindra, which claims to be India’s largest sport utility vehicle manufacturer, opened headquarters in Southeast Michigan for its newly developed North American branch. Fiat Chrysler has also said that Roxor imports threaten it with substantial injury as they are underselling Jeeps. Mahindra capitalizes on the cost advantages of manufacturing their products in India and then importing knocked-down kits to the U.S., where they’re assembled in the Detroit area.
Mahindra announced plans in November to invest $600 million in its Roxor manufacturing facility. (See the video at the bottom of the page for a look at this lawsuit Jeep)
JT Truck vs JK Wrangler
Earlier this week a reader of my blog contacted me with some questions. “I would love to hear your thoughts on the topic of a Jeep pickup truck. Would you purchase one? Good/Bad Idea? Have you ever owned a truck? Would wrangler owner opt for a Jeep truck over a wrangler or do you consider it a completely different playing field? Would I purchase one? Yes if I had extra money I would buy a JT Truck. I actually would love one. But to pick it over my JKU I am not sure. I feel I don’t have enough background knowledge on the truck to decide. Is it a good slash bad idea? I guess it depends on what you would use it for. My dream would be to turn my JKU into my off road vehicle. Get a trailer to haul it and haul it with a JT Truck. Now I have never owned a truck, my husband has a truck. It’s great for when you need to haul stuff. Would a Wrangler owner opt for a Jeep Truck over a Wrangler? Not really sure. Right now I wouldn’t just because I like to wheel on the rocks and in the woods of AOAA and those can be some tight turns. Not sure how the truck will do in those types of off road situations.
A 50 year offroad veteran. Inductee to the Off Road motor sports hall of fame. Six years active duty Army (Green Beret, Ranger, Paratrooper, ParaSCUBA, Jungle Ops, Vietnam combat vet, and more). “I’ve been doing off-pavement 50 years; 35 years of land use and published writing.”