First he tells us how great the plastic fenders are compared to steel fenders. (I agree from a functional standpoint but the final styling is hideous).
Reality: When you bang ’em up they will be cheaper to replace than the TJ’s painted steel parts. Also, the JK fender is more likely to tear off than to cause collateral damage to the grille, tub, and internal structure like the TJs fenders.
Then he argues its ok because DC bean counters are smart enough to know we will gladly piss away money on their product to fix it.
Interestingly, the JK is the first Jeep introduced where we were told by the marketing and design team that they took the aftermarket into consideration. To bring the price of the vehicle down, less expensive components were used in nonessential areas that they knew would be upgraded anyway. The bumpers are a perfect example of this.
Then he counters his argument and tells us Tube fenders could be a solution for something. Could it be the horrible aesthetics?
The JK could be a natural for tube fenders anyway.
Seems like this could happen with tubes.
collateral damage to the grille, tub, and internal structure like the TJs fenders
Reality: The ’07 Wrangler and Wrangler Unlimited feature reduced prices throughout the lineup by an average of $1,200 while adding an average of $1,800 in content when compared to the outgoing ’06 models.
DC is going to give you $3000.00 worth of value for free. (Wish he would have itemized the 1800.00).
He is smartly selling (Jeeps are his thing) and I will bet within months you will find JP whining about the look if they are not already. Auto rags double speak all the time.
(Assumptions - low end TJ type pricing)
New front bumper $200
New rear bumber $250
New tire carrier if needed $300
Tube fenders $400
It doesn't look like DC gave any consideration to aftermarket integration. From this view there is a lot of radius where the fenders attach. It will be interesting to see what the aftermarket can do with it and at what cost. It's not cheap to tube a TJ but the base design does lend itself to it.
The JK is softened, soccer mom aesthetics (ala liberty), and derived from DC market analysis. They seem to be trying to expand their market for Wranglers e.g. 2 wheel drive Unlimited - they are selling looks.
The market will speak soon enough.