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Unread 02-10-2013, 08:01 PM   #31
XJ2Timer
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One more item I want to bring up about the XJ. It was designed and built to where any lighting (except for the fog lights on the 97 and up) were not attached to the bumper section. So after market bumpers were easy to install without having to relocate lighting.
The 1984 to 1996 models had no wrap around pieces that were attached to both the bumper and the body sides. This also made it easy to install after market products.

Today the Wrangler is the only Jeep model that is still designed and built to be after market friendly.

Being after market friendly was a big part of the XJ being so popular.

Everyone knows that XJ isn't coming back. That's not the issue. It is the lack of a fixed metal roof, off road capable, after market friendly Jeep of any kind that is the issue.

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Unread 02-10-2013, 09:05 PM   #32
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The thing is, it's not that Jeep left the market. The market left Jeep.

Look around the world. Steel-roofed, practical off-roaders in any size, especially XJ-sized, used to be a dime a dozen. The XJ and ZJ/WJ formed the lion's share of the market, but they were by no means the only ones. And logic and capitalism would both dictate that, if Jeep wasn't in the market, someone else would have rushed in to capitalize on the absence.

But nobody has, because tastes moved on too. Let's look at all the XJ competitors since the '80s-and I'm going to get pretty liberal in the definition here. How about, any solid-roofed, rugged SUV since the '80s:

Chevrolet Blazer/GMC Jimmy: Shrunk, then disappeared.
Chevrolet Tahoe/GMC Yukon: Lost most their off-road ability, to cater to market majority.
Ford Explorer: Went unibody to cater to market demands
Land Rover Defender: Going Discovery-based in 2016 due to market demands
Mercedes G-Wagen: Went upmarket due to consumer demands
Nissan Patrol: Upmarket and softer
Toyota Land Cruiser: Upmarket and softer
Toyota 4Runner: Upmarket and softer
Toyota Land Cruiser Prado: Upmarket and softer

Notice a trend here? The people who bought XJs for utility reasons now either accepted softer vehicles, or started buying pickups instead.
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Unread 02-11-2013, 12:18 AM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marauder_Pilot View Post
due to consumer demands
Citation needed.



I'm the market.
I'm right here with money demanding a spartan, not-effing-gigantic 4x4 vehicle with enough ground clearance to actually work at all in the state of Arizona off pavement. But nobody sells such a creature so I keep old steel on the road.

You know who else is the market?

Everyone throwing money hand-over-fist at Polaris and Kawasaki buying side-by-sides and trailers, then modifying their side-by-sides to have doors and heaters and stereos etc.


And what choices do we have?
The Equinox is an AWD station wagon.

The Escape is too.

The Terrain has no ground clearance.

The Wrangler is fatter than ever and feels clumsy to drive - I commend the effort but a wrangler isn't what I want either.

Fullsize pickups (F150 etc) are too damn big.

Kia Sorentos don't have much ground clearance and no low range.

Grand Cherokees are also fatter than ever, and though I like them very much they're 700lbs and 9" longer than WJ's, (laredo 4x4 vs laredo 4x4) ... 900lbs and 13" longer than ZJ's, 4+ inches wider too. No. Put your sht on a diet!

The Journey is a station wagon, the Pathfinder is one too, the Edge is one, the encore is a tall hatchback, Tundras are huge, Ridgelines have no low range and unimpressive clearance...

Everything else isn't any better and costs a lot more..

That's why I bought a WJ when I could have bought something new. That's why I'll once again look for something old, lean and athletic when the WJ's done. Because apparently I'm not the market.
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Unread 02-11-2013, 07:55 AM   #34
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I remember when Lee Iacocca said, "We don't want to be the biggest, just the best."

The so called competition found that they could not compete with Jeep so they stopped trying. Sure they are selling lots of on road vehicles but big deal.

Now Jeep has decided that capability doesn't really matter anymore. So now Jeep is trying to chase all of its former competition.

Kind of ironic that the winner has decided to chase the losers.

Now the corporate slogan is, "Best? Who cares as long as we sell more."
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Unread 02-11-2013, 08:33 AM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by funkduck View Post
Citation needed.



I'm the market.
Yeah, you and about a dozen other diehards on Jeepforum and Allpar. Until you're willing to cough up the billion-dollar investment to engineer it, you'll be wanting.
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Unread 02-11-2013, 08:35 AM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XJ2Timer View Post
I remember when Lee Iacocca said, "We don't want to be the biggest, just the best."

The so called competition found that they could not compete with Jeep so they stopped trying. Sure they are selling lots of on road vehicles but big deal.

Now Jeep has decided that capability doesn't really matter anymore. So now Jeep is trying to chase all of its former competition.

Kind of ironic that the winner has decided to chase the losers.

Now the corporate slogan is, "Best? Who cares as long as we sell more."
I actually like every vehicle in Jeep's lineup today.. just wouldn't buy any of them. I might consider a WK2 Trailhawk or Overland if I could afford it, but I strongly suspect I'd regret it every time I tried to squeeze the barge into a parking spot or between tight trees and rocks. I already feel like my WJ is too plump

Check this out:


Notice how the Compass and Liberty seem... about as big as the older Grand Cherokee?

Now look at this picture:


Since I'm able-bodied, I don't mind lifting my foot up a few more inches to get into a vehicle. If something happens to me that leads me to become handicapped, trading to a vehicle that fits my new needs will be the least of my worries.

What I do mind is spending money for a vehicle that promises me "go anywhere, do anything" but then it can't actually go anywhere, and gets broken the instant I try to do anything.

Anyway I'm beating a dead horse here - I know that Jeep's (and any business') primary responsibility is to make money - there's nothing wrong with that. I'm suggesting that there's a big hole in the market right now for street legal, compact and capable utility machines. Nobody makes one. All the former players got fat because apparently when people shop by numbers they care only about legroom, payload and horsepower and don't take the machine's proportions and mass into account. Maybe people claim to care about safety but then the first thing they do with their gargantuan SUV is tie a trailer to it (trailering is more dangerous than not trailering) with a slew of motorized all-terrain vehicles, none of which have any more than a bare minimum of safety equipment. Kinda like someone I know who insists that old cars are unsafe and won't ride in one, but texts while she drives her car...
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Unread 02-11-2013, 08:58 AM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marauder_Pilot View Post
Yeah, you and about a dozen other diehards on Jeepforum and Allpar. Until you're willing to cough up the billion-dollar investment to engineer it, you'll be wanting.
Your point isn't lost on me, but here's my point:

According to Polaris's SEC filing, ~69% of their business is in "off road vehicles" (non-snowmobile, non-bike because their bikes are largely on-road Indian/Victory)

They're doing a fair amount of business.

Apparently around a quarter million side-by-sides were sold in 2011, compared to around 100,000 prior to the introduction of the Rhino by Yamaha.

So to say that the market for a light and agile off-roader doesn't exist, I don't think that's accurate. People are buying what they can get, because they can't buy what they can't get.
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Unread 02-11-2013, 08:53 PM   #38
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Are you seriously suggesting that a Polaris RzR is a cross-shopped substitute for a Cherokee?
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Unread 02-12-2013, 02:51 AM   #39
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Quote:
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Are you seriously suggesting that a Polaris RzR is a cross-shopped substitute for a Cherokee?
Yes, actually. There used to be a number of fairly compact vehicles available to the buying public that could serve as a daily driver but still were stout enough, compact enough and simple enough to function well in severe terrain and tolerate doing so repeatedly - while being spartan enough to remain within reach of a financially wide audience.

The Chicken Tax effectively ended the import of some of these vehicles in 1989 and raised the price of those whose production shifted to North America - that was a nail in their coffin which had nothing to do with reduced consumer demand.

These vehicles generally had very short wheelbases, were as narrow as would still fit most adults, kept their rocker panels above their axles*, had excellent approach/breakover/departure angles, and were built with deliberately utilitarian materials and finishes so rough use wouldn't immediately make them look like crap. Sounds kinda like a Polaris.

They sold a lot of them too, and the Suzuki Samurai (Jimny) is alive and well outside sUe-S-A. Are you completely sure it was that market which completely evaporated, not the availability of the products they actually want?

SWB Montero - 3200lb 93" wheelbase 66" wide - Rocker panels above axles
SWB Sidekick - 2250lb 87" wheelbase 64" wide - Rocker panels above axles
Bronco II - 3250lb 94" wheelbase 68" wide - Rocker panels above axles
Suzuki Samurai - 2100lb 80" wheelbase 60" wide - Rocker panels above axles
Jeep XJ 4wd 2dr - 3100lb 101" wheelbase 68" wide - Rocker panels above axles
Mitsubishi Mighty Max 4x4 - 3000lb 105" wheelbase 65" wide - Rocker panels above axles
Fourth generation Toyota SR5 pickup 4x4 - 2800lb, 103" wheelbase, 64" wide - Rocker panels above axles
Isuzu Trooper 3-door - 3300lb 90" wheelbase 65" wide. - Rocker panels above axles
--
2013 Jeep JK 2-door 4000lb 95" wheelbase 74" wide. - Rocker panels above axles
2013 Jeep Patriot 3300lb 104" wheelbase 70" wide. - Rocker panels below axles


*I don't have some obsession with the relationship between the rocker panel and the axle, however the rocker panel is a particularly vulnerable part of the vehicle when it is actually used off-pavement and as a general rule the critical clearance angles of a given vehicle tend to be related to one another, including the height of this "yardstick".
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Unread 02-12-2013, 09:00 AM   #40
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The Jimny exists outside the USA (Check its sales numbers-'thrives' is a strong word) because of 2nd and 3rd world markets, and the poor safety standards that exist there. It can't be sold in the USA because it is, by modern standards, a hideously unsafe vehicle. I actually drove a Jimny in Wales once, and while it was OK tooling around on a field (Would have preferred a Wrangler, but whatever), but even at 75 KPH, the thing is...an adventure...to drive. And not in a good way.

The market here worked in a leapfrog effect. Every time one of the group shed its utilitarian roots and got softer, sales went up. Watch the sales increase from Bronco to Explorer, and then tell me the market prefers rugged trucks.
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Unread 02-12-2013, 09:22 AM   #41
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We started using Polaris Rangers on our families ranch several years ago,I also have a RZR4 which I drive daily. the only time we use full size pickups now is on the highway,or pulling gooseneck trailers for cattle work,Also have a jeep wrangler 4dr( just driving on main roads which are oilfield gravel type, everything underneath on it rattles or has been replaced after only 30000 miles). Everyday ranch work now Polaris only. Much cheaper to operate, Do not tear up things when it is wet, hold up better in off road ranch work environment that jeep or pickups.We have 6 Polaris vehicles, built flat bed off road trailers to pull behind them for more carry capacity. We love em.Will not be buying another jeep , unless it is a CJ5 , CJ7 or older.
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Unread 02-12-2013, 09:48 AM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marauder_Pilot View Post
The Jimny exists outside the USA ....... because of 2nd and 3rd world markets, and the poor safety standards that exist there. It can't be sold in the USA because it is, by modern standards, a hideously unsafe vehicle.

.
And yet, the Jimny probably sports more safety features than your average side-by-side... which people outside of urban metropolis' drive daily.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jnr0104 View Post
We started using Polaris Rangers on our families ranch several years ago,I also have a RZR4 which I drive daily. the only time we use full size pickups now is on the highway,or pulling gooseneck trailers for cattle work,Also have a jeep wrangler 4dr( just driving on main roads which are oilfield gravel type, everything underneath on it rattles or has been replaced after only 30000 miles). Everyday ranch work now Polaris only. Much cheaper to operate, Do not tear up things when it is wet, hold up better in off road ranch work environment that jeep or pickups.We have 6 Polaris vehicles, built flat bed off road trailers to pull behind them for more carry capacity. We love em.Will not be buying another jeep , unless it is a CJ5 , CJ7 or older.
Do you not think that if Polaris could sell a street legal, climate controlled Ranger they'd sell a lot of them?

I gather that a big part of the problem is cultural. "we" in America have somehow become accustomed to the idea that everything sold as a brand new car absolutely must be impossible to die in. We'll insist upon world-leading safety standards from absolutely every new road-going vehicle, but then we'll text while getting road dome, we'll buy ridiculously unsafe (by current standards) classic cars because we feel nostalgic to them, neglect their maintenance and drive them fast, we'll buy our kids dirt bikes and we'll drive side-by-sides as fast as they'll go, we'll buy brand new Harleys and ride them without helmets... but then sue the pants off any new car manufacturer who dares make an SUV you could theoretically roll if you strap a dozen railroad ties to the roof and try to slalom at 80mph.

To put it as plainly as I can, if I have the safest 2013 car available parked in my driveway and I put most of my miles on driving a Polaris because it actually does the job.. that's not safer than a new Jimny.
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Unread 02-12-2013, 10:31 PM   #43
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And yet, the Jimny probably sports more safety features than your average side-by-side... which people outside of urban metropolis' drive daily.
Not on actual roads. I live in one of the few places in North America where someone legally can drive a side-by-side on the road. Nobody does-because they are not, in any shape, way or form, safe to do so. At least on a motorcycle you can keep up with traffic.

In a purely off-road situation, side-by-sides are amazing. I'd do dirty things to get my hands on a Can-Am Commander. But as a total replacement for a Cherokee, they are completely unsuitable. What they HAVE replaced in the Jeep lineup is the Wrangler-the roles that ranchers, farmers, parks departments and such used to fill with CJs have long since been replaced by Gators and side-by-sides, because they're cheaper to run, just as easy to operate, and will do everything required offroad.
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Unread 02-15-2013, 04:31 PM   #44
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I'll buy a Jeep pick-up the day it comes on the lot. The only brand new vehicle I will ever buy.
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Unread 02-23-2013, 06:46 PM   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by funkduck View Post
Citation needed.



I'm the market.
I'm right here with money demanding a spartan, not-effing-gigantic 4x4 vehicle with enough ground clearance to actually work at all in the state of Arizona off pavement. But nobody sells such a creature so I keep old steel on the road.

You know who else is the market?

Everyone throwing money hand-over-fist at Polaris and Kawasaki buying side-by-sides and trailers, then modifying their side-by-sides to have doors and heaters and stereos etc.


And what choices do we have?
The Equinox is an AWD station wagon.

The Escape is too.

The Terrain has no ground clearance.

The Wrangler is fatter than ever and feels clumsy to drive - I commend the effort but a wrangler isn't what I want either.

Fullsize pickups (F150 etc) are too damn big.

Kia Sorentos don't have much ground clearance and no low range.

Grand Cherokees are also fatter than ever, and though I like them very much they're 700lbs and 9" longer than WJ's, (laredo 4x4 vs laredo 4x4) ... 900lbs and 13" longer than ZJ's, 4+ inches wider too. No. Put your sht on a diet!

The Journey is a station wagon, the Pathfinder is one too, the Edge is one, the encore is a tall hatchback, Tundras are huge, Ridgelines have no low range and unimpressive clearance...

Everything else isn't any better and costs a lot more..

That's why I bought a WJ when I could have bought something new. That's why I'll once again look for something old, lean and athletic when the WJ's done. Because apparently I'm not the market.
I'm with you. It looks like that'll be the way to go, just keep rebuilding the old stuff with companies making OEM stuff once it's obsolete like they do for Ford, Chevy, Dodge trucks. Companies like LMC truck. Just rebuild from the ground up.
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