They actually made an independent suspension version of a jeep in WW2 (its the funny looking one with the horizontal grill slits), it was notorious for rolling whenever a wheel got lifted above the ground (the lifted wheel would sag and tuck, and bad things happened when that side of the rig came back down). Based on the history of ind. susp. jeeps and the purpose of the vehicle, I really doubt they would give up solid axles.
You're mixing two anecdotes there. They experimented with IFS Jeeps for the M38 in the '40s and '50s, but they tucked the wheels so they stuck with live axles.
There WAS an IFS/IRS 'Jeep' built, the Ford MUTT. However, it was purely a Ford design and, while it fits right in with old CJs, it isn't technically a Jeep. Additionally, the MUTT was used in Vietnam, not WWII.
Originally Posted by GrassLakeRon
Currently. Now add 3% each year until then and if they spent heavily to make the changes then add another $1500...... I have watched even used car prices do the same thing. So base on the new one would be around $25,000 in 2015 based on that trend.
Welcome to inflation. $20,000 is cheap for a car now. The cheapest car on the market is the hilariously simple and widespread Nissan Versa, and it isn't even below $10,000 any more. Jeep can't make money on a $20,000 niche model.
Here's the thing with utility Jeeps: Nobody wants them any more. They didn't stop making them arbitrarily, they've been superseded by, depending on the various roles, ATVs, UTVs, Gators, side-by-sides, mini-tractors and such.
What started jeep? Cheap multi purpose vehicles. Work on the farm then take it to town . Do you think that a base jeep that is as much as 30% of americans make in a year really going to appeal to the masses? What company wants to kill 30% of the market right off the bat? So if their new plan is to aim for only the top 20% that is a poor business model. Add in the fact that most people won't make the difference each year in raises....
And that role was taken over by pickup trucks years and years ago. The 'farm Jeep' really only existed for 10, MAYBE 20 years. Even by the '60s, CJs were far more of a toy than a tool.
Also, the average transaction price in America for a new car is $30,000. Most Wranglers retail below that, and ALL of them retail well within the 66% bell curve. Jeep appeals, monetarily, to, statistically speaking, every new car buyer in North America. Almost anybody who can afford a new car can afford a Wrangler, and those who can't just aren't worth pandering to.
Third, you assume that making a stripper Wrangler would actually make it cheaper. On Allpar, a former Jeep engineer who posts there estimated that just stripping out the carpet and replacing it with bedliner would be $750.
Why are small cars selling right now? Price and mileage....so if you want to get more people to buy you don't high jack the price and keep low mileage numbers. Now you say true jeepers don't care about the mileage, that they want a true off road experience.... Did sales go up big time when they stressed mileage numbers?
You ARE aware that the Wrangler factory is literally running 100% right now? THEY CANNOT PHYSICALLY SELL ANY MORE WRANGLERS. It is the best-selling vehicle in its class (BOF SUVs), the 5th-best-selling Chrysler vehicle (After Ram trucks, the Dodge Caravan, the Grand Cherokee and the Chrysler 200).
Sales, over the past 10 years, jumped significantly three times: In '03, when the LJ was introduced, in '07, when the 4-door Unlimited came out and '11, when the interior was revamped.
People who want small cars buy small cars. People who want Jeeps buy Jeeps. The lackluster sales of the Patriot and Compass show that there isn't much overlap.
There WAS a vehicle in North America that was basically a tiny, efficient, simple Wrangler-the Suzuki Samauri. It sold terribly. It still exists as the Suzuki Jimny overseas, and sells poorly there, too.
Tho all safety issues aside, history has shown that the bigger you make it sales drop. Ford, Chevy and Dodge have seen their sales drop when they keeping adding new cool toys to their cars/trucks and watched the prices creeped up. The current jk unlimited craze is a bump that will fade once the soccer moms find a new toy. Then jeep will be back to its core group, but with a jeep made for a mom with kids.
Then how do you explain a massive sales increase every time Jeep has released a model that's nicer to drive? The Liberty sold better than the Cherokee. The JK sells better than the TJ. The WKII sells better than the WK. The 2nd-gen Patriot and Compass sell WAAAAY better than the first.
Besides, the JK is the most capable vehicle Jeep has ever produced. More torque at all points than the 4.0L, better power/weight ratio, better A/D angles, more ground clearance, cheaper and easier to modify...the list goes on.
And it's not just Jeeps. The new Durango outsells the old 2-to-1. The new Explorer outsells the old one 2-to-1.
And you're attributing the SUV sales drop to something completely inconsequential. Ever notice that gas got really, really expensive in the last 10 years? Blaming the sales drop on gadgets is like getting out of the shower, drying yourself off and saying that you're dry because you're standing on linoleum now, instead of...whatever your tub is made out of.
"Buying a Jeep for on-road handling is like downloading porn to savor the cinematography."
Did you or do you own the last generation of explorer? I did. To say the wheels fell off it for no reason is an understatement. Most people after the first set of tires want a different vehicle. The demographics by me show that. The new explorer is for all proposes is a car. My other car is an aveo. Cheap and basic. 9200 out the door new. So not all small car buyers stay with small cars. Also jeep seems to be going to a different market, so once you skip the flashy new crowd, what do you get? About 80-85k units a year. I would argue the true jeep group. Also can you tell me why I don't see many JK out wheeling? Maybe at the mall but not off road? So if numbers are the game then how long will it take before you get a unibody jeep wrangler with torsion bar front 4 wheel drive because their research tells them that soccer moms make up the biggest sales group and they want a better ride? Remember ford just did it and they are selling like hot cakes right now........
There WAS a vehicle in North America that was basically a tiny, efficient, simple Wrangler-the Suzuki Samauri. It sold terribly. It still exists as the Suzuki Jimny overseas, and sells poorly there, too. [QUOTE]
I remember the road test videos they showed of the samurai (with outriggers) taking a hard turn and rolling on to the outriggers. Which pretty much killed their sales. I believe they redesigned it into what was sold as the Geo Tracker (which had IFS and a wider stance).
Also would the old Toyota FJ Landcruiser and Nissan Patrol have been considered competition for the older CJ?
The Gen 1 and Gen 2 Patrol would technically be Wrangler competitors, but left the US market in '69. Same with the FJ-20 and FJ-40, but they left in '83. Neither sold in any significant numbers in NA, either, and both are more traditional SUVs now, more in common with the Grand Cherokee than the Wrangler.
The Samurai has a weird family tree.
First there was the Suzuki Samurai, a badge-engineered copy of the Suzuki Jimny.
Then there was the Suzuki Sidekick, a badge-engineered copy of the Suzuki Escudo. It was sold alongside the Samurai for a few years, then replaced it and the Samurai left entirely.
In North America, it was sold under the following names:
The first-generation vehicle was the mini-Jeep we all know, the second-gen was a compact CUV, albiet still fairly rugged. It was then replaced by the Suzuki Gran Vitara, a Suzuki version of the Chevrolet Equinox.
"Buying a Jeep for on-road handling is like downloading porn to savor the cinematography."
From the earlier mention of the M151 "MUTT" I was trying to find the other "oddball" military jeep that I couldn't remember the name of.....just found it....the M422 "Mighty Mite" ... I guess they only made them for a few years, but I always thought they were pretty cool
From the very high number of soccer mom/brodozer style JK's they have been selling I would be very surprised to see the wrangler become more civilaized. If its selling so well already, why do major changes?
The biggest change I could see happening is going to a unitbody eventually, it will cut down on weight (improve fuel economy drivability), improve IIHS and meet future safety goals more easily. The biggest bears on the auto industry are those two things, mileage and safety.
my jeep does have a unibody , its called a tub. lets start making the cj2 again but in diesel.
And, no, I wouldn't, not if it's the on-road deathtrap that the MB was. You know why the US Army no longer sells small vehicles to the public that aren't conversions of civilian vehicles? Because dozens of people who bought surplus MBs rolled and killed themselves.
And a base-model Wrangler is just over $22,000. That's not a lot of money. A JK is also far more capable than an MB-the only thing the MB has on the JK is width. And I'll take a vehicle that won't kill me if it rolls over.
I have an MB. I love it for what it represents, but it rarely gets driven. Its a blast, but a very uncomfortable blast. Its very unstable on the roads, but great off road of course. Other than size, the current Wrangler is more capable in all aspects than the MB.
The unlimited is not a fad, it gave Jeep so many more options. There's only so much you can do with a microscopic tin box. Now with an unlimited, groups all over the world are now looking at Jeeps to replace their old Landrover 110s and various other 4x4s who's makers have long abandoned their 4x4 lineage. And others who want a utility style 4x4 with *gasp* ROOM.
Try to lead an expedition in a TJ (good luck with that)
The sky rocketing sales 5 years ON is only proof of this.
Remember their core group? It seems Jeep did just that by creating the most capable stock Wrangler ever. Oh, sorry its not a rattly tin box like you wanted, but remaking the CJ would barely sell 20k a year, let alone 300k.
Thanks for this post trw, saved me the trouble. I get so tired of the "4 doors are for soccer moms" diatribe. I love my 07 jku and am certainly not a female. My Jeep is my daily driver, my work "truck", and my off road fun vehicle. I had wanted another Jeep, but until the unlimited came out a 2 door just wasn't feasible. There are a lot of us who use our jku's plenty off road and still want Jeeps to be more capable than comfortable.
Besides, the best thing about "soccer mom" and Jeeps, is that there are a lot off pristine used JKU's on the used car lots.