AD #2493 – FCA Retools Engine Plant for Jeeps, Mid-Size Pickup Segment Soars, How the Jeep Gladiator Got Its Name

December 7th, 2018 at 10:32am

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Runtime: 8:01

0:29 FCA to Retool Engine Plant for Jeeps
1:01 Mid-Size Pickup Sales Through November
2:01 Euro NCAP Rates Two FCA Vehicles Poorly
3:07 Chevy Shows Less-Bold High Country HD
3:44 Rinspeed Details New microSNAP Vehicle
5:14 How the Jeep Gladiator Got Its Name

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44 Comments to “AD #2493 – FCA Retools Engine Plant for Jeeps, Mid-Size Pickup Segment Soars, How the Jeep Gladiator Got Its Name”

  1. Steve W Says:

    I assumed Gladiator would be the name as I remember the original Gladiator and thought Jeep would rely on nostalgia to promote this vehicle.

  2. ChuckGrenci Says:

    I’ve already begun to acclimate to the new Chevy HD front end, still don’t love it, but not repulsive to me anymore. The new HD High Country even looks better IMO. And even looking at the first released HD, at 1/4 front view, looks okay (even good). Again, IMO. For most of the people that are interested, if the specs and capabilities meet their needs, and with styling subjective anyway, they may sell quite a few of these.

  3. XA351GT Says:

    The Gladiator used to be a full size truck so I can see why people may have thought Scrambler which was a CJ based truck. They could have used the Comanche name as well as that was the compact/midsize Jeep truck in the 80s. Maybe if they are bold and do a 2 door version they can call it the Scrambler.

  4. MJB Says:

    Very interested to know if the Rinspeed concept (and any other modular vehicles like it) will be held to current crash test standards. Because, I’ve gotta say, if a welded-together Jeep Wrangler can’t pass the Euro NCAP, then a vehicle with a chassis held down by just four snap-on points stands no chance of even scoring a 0.

  5. XA351GT Says:

    This Hyundai truck has to be the slowest roll out I’ve ever seen . They have been talking about ,hinting at ,promising this thing for what 5 years now ? By the time they do release this they will have missed their chance to get a foothold in the segment.

  6. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I like the “High Country” better than the other one, but would like it better if they’d just do away with that band 2/3 of the way up the grill, and just put another narrow bar. Of course, I’m not part of their customer base, so they shouldn’t care what I think.

    I’ve long said that many pickup truck purchases are irrational, in that many, or most pickups never haul or tow anything. An extension of the irrationality of pickup purchases, is that the Ridgeline is doing so poorly. The way most pickups are actually used, the Ridgeline is one of the best, with a lockable “trunk,” and a good ride and handling for a pickup.

    As far as irrational vehicle purchases, I certainly make them, as with the Corvette.

  7. Kit Gerhart Says:

    5 If Hyundai would do an actual small pickup, the size of an S-10 or the old Ranger, and sell it at the right price, they would have the market to themselves, and would do great with it.

  8. Danny Turnpaugh Says:

    Maybe Jeep wanted to stay away from any controversy using a name like the Comanche. Gladiator is good choice for truck.

  9. Buzzerd Says:

    While the Ridgeline might be capable it’s looks really let it down. The lockable trunk thing is good and bad. If I need my spare and I’ve got a load in the back it’s not looking like such a brilliant an idea.

  10. Kit Gerhart Says:

    9 I’ve only needed a spare once in the last 30 years, but yeah, I see your point. Of course, most pickups rarely, or never have anything in the bed anyway.

  11. Lex Says:

    I think it is horrible of General Motors to announce its plant closures and huge layoffs right now during the Holiday Season. I have heard a number of people say “Boycott GM Products” or “No more Bailouts for GM”. GM should change its name to “Scrooge Motors”! No more bailouts for you! I believe GM Top Executives should take a huge pay cut to carry those lay off employees until new product or great selling product can be moved into those plants that are scheduled to close. This would be a great way for Ms. Barra and GM Executives to save face. It is not just about “business”! This is about peoples’ livelihoods and neighborhoods. GM is shifting the burden of supporting these employees and the surrounding communities on to the back of the American People in the form of unemployment and social services benefits. This is just another form of corporate bailout for their short sightedness and mismanagement.
    By the way GM, that new Chevy Silverado HD IHMO is HORRIBLE! The FCA Ram has my vote.

  12. Lex Says:

    The Announcement by FCA to re-open one of its idle engine plants is Fantastic news. I had previously suggested that FCA might consider re- introducing those nameplates from the almost forgotten “American Motors” brand which Chrysler had acquired long ago. I would love to see new models of the Eagle and AMX on the road as CUV’s. These nameplates could fill gaps in the FCA product line-up. Something for Mike Manley and the FCA Board of Directors to think about going forward. Go JEEP!

  13. Buzzerd Says:

    10- I’ve got terrible luck with flats, when I put on my winter tires this year 2 had to had slow leaks and I’ve got a third that will have to go in. I would think the old ” does he need a truck or not” debate is some what regional. I know I work with roughly 200 people and 90% of which drive trucks but the majority hunt and or fish and then people like me who own dirt bikes and quads and motorcycles that need hauling. Not to mention the amount of guys who are also tradesmen. Then there are our SOP’s, and deck projects and….

  14. Lambo2015 Says:

    Well FCA if you want full beast mode in the gladiator then you need to offer a hemi I’m sure it’s going to do well either way. Only complaints I’ve heard is people wanting it offered in a 2 door.

  15. Lambo2015 Says:

    11 So what should GM do? Not close plants keep them open and run the business ineffecent until they need another bailout. I think there decision sucks too but they can’t operate like they did when they had 50 % of the us market. Sadly this is what they need to do. Also sad that they are getting so much grief for trying to prevent what they did before

  16. Lex Says:

    15 Unfortunately Barra and Crew had a great opportunity when they jettisoned Oldsmobile, Pontiac, Hummer, Saturn, Opel, Vauxhall, Saab, Holden through bankruptcy and took the US Government Bailout. They could have also gotten rid of Cadillac and Buick. Then they would have been able to become a much leaner company with fewer redundant models (Clones) and better positioned themselves for the future.

    But No, They got in bed with the Chinese and built more manufacturing plants in both China and Mexico. This is simply seriously bad corporate mismanagement and a lack of respect for the home country. They did not need to pour billions into the Volt and Bolt. They were are the forefront of Electric Cars with the EV1! I think I have made my point.

  17. Lex Says:

    VW realizes it made a HUGE mistake with Diesel-Gate and is looking to save itself in any way possible. They see electrification and the best avenue to accomplish this especially in Europe it’s home market. Ford better realize that linking arms with VW will be good of the short term, but ultimately VW will assimilate Ford and it’s rich history into oblivion.

  18. XA351GT Says:

    Danny @ #8 That would make sense if they didn’t already have 2 models named Cherokee and another named Renegade. Maybe they just wanted people to think of it as a happy Roman ( Glad He ate her) LOL

  19. Lex Says:

    Why is it taking Ford so long to bring the New Bronco to Market? Look how fast Honda got the New Passport to market with units to show up in dealerships by mid 2019.

  20. Lex Says:

    18 XA351GT You are BAD!

  21. XA351GT Says:

    GM still has Holden they just don’t actually build any of their own cars. Every car sold in Australia is a import captive or otherwise. There is zero vehicle manufacturing there. That was a result of lifting import tariffs and being flooded with cheap imports. It killed their domestic market, Even Toyota closed their plant there also.

  22. XA351GT Says:

    Lex I know I can’t help myself.

    If GM was smart they would have Kept just Chevy and Caddy . If they were going to keep GMC make it the only source for trucks and SUVs for the corp.


    There has to be more to the reason Jeep got a 1 star rating then…It didn’t have lane keep assist or emergency braking. If the lack of these driver assist features drops you 4 stars, then what is the point of having 5 stars?

    And how sad is it that people would think a vehicle without lane keep assist or emergency braking is so unsafe that it deserves 1 star. Good grief.

  24. Kit Gerhart Says:

    13 Maybe I’ve been lucky in regard to flats. I’ve had two or three punctures over the last 30 or 40 years that needed to be patched, but they leaked slowly enough that I didn’t need a spare.

    Yeah, I’m sure the actual “need” for pickup trucks is quite regional. Retired people in condos in Florida have no need whatever for them, but there are several pickups in my complex.

    Of course some people would think I need one when I am in Indiana in the summer, since I occasionally transport or motorcycle or lawn tractor. I use a 4 x 8 flatbed tilt trailer, which is almost free to own, and didn’t cost much to buy.

  25. Kit Gerhart Says:

    16 GM sells about 2 million cars a year in China, so it makes sense for them to build them there. They are kind of forced to, and it may, or may end up more, or less that way, depending on how “trade wars” sort out. BMW and Mercedes build their highest volume CUVs in the U.S., because that is where they sell most of them.

    As far as GM (and Ford and FCA) building vehicles in Mexico, in years past, before NAFTA became so controversial, it was a way to lower the “average” cost of building cars, and helped them stay competitive, or more competitive.

  26. Kit Gerhart Says:

    8, 18 I’m thinking they didn’t want to use the Cherokee name, because the previous Cherokee was, basically, an S-10/Ranger competitor, and they want to market the Glad-he-ate-her as as more upscale, and macho. Too bad there is no 2 door version, though.

    As far as the hemi, maybe they are saving that for later, and will have an SRT version. I suspect the hemi would fit fairly easily. It is physically bigger than a Chevy small block V-8, but is still fairly compact.

  27. MJB Says:

    @11 – LEX, it’s not just GM who lets workers go just before Christmas. To my knowledge, this is typical among automakers.

    I can’t tell you the number of times my group of fellow Ford contract employees almost got the ax during the holidays. Our contract was renegotiated each December. I’m not sure when fiscal years end for each manufacturer, but the time to get extra weight off the books (from a business standpoint) is just before the next fiscal year starts up. For my business, it lines up with the calendar year.

  28. Chuck Grenci Says:

    I see quite a few of the heavy duty trucks, all makes, towing travel trailers; of course you are going to see them hauling empty most of the time but when you need one, you need one. Some are mine is bigger than yours but there certainly is a need that may not be apparent.

  29. Kit Gerhart Says:

    23 It seems that EURO NCAP should just crash test the cars, and publish results of those tests, maybe with stars. Then, publish a chart with the list of safety features, like emergency braking or lane-keep assistance, not stars needed. Make it easy for people to determine what safety gadgets are present, which some people might want, and some would not care about.

    I’ve driven a car with lane keep assist, and turn it off. I use turn signals as reliably as anyone, but if I change lanes with no one within a half mile behind me, I might not use them, and don’t want that tug on the steering wheel when I change lanes.

  30. Kit Gerhart Says:

    28 Yeah, I agree that, except with people you know, you can’t tell which of the trucks never haul or tow anything. I know quite a few people, though, who have trucks for no real reason, except that they “like” them. As long as fuel is cheap, I doubt that much will change, as far as vehicle buying habits in the U.S., except that I will be in an even smaller minority because I mostly drive cars. The exception is my ’89 van, which I drove only a few hundred miles a year.

  31. Lex Says:

    @30 Kit Gerhart you hit the proverbial nail on the head! US Consumers like Trucks and Large SUV’s now because fuel is cheap. In my area it is at of under $3.00 per gallon. US Consumers only struggle with the question of fuel economy when gasoline prices rise above $4.00 per gallon.

    I can not tell you how many Hummers H2s I have seen on the road lately. Where have they all been hiding? The best bet is to have one large vehicle and one smaller vehicle in the household. When you need the really large vehicle just rent it.

    Between the new technology being introduced into vehicles very year and the uncertainly of fuel prices and drive modes it is now just better to lease short term.

    This whole issue over Direct Injected Engines has me troubled. Why should I want to pay thousands for a engine cleaning or rebuild due to carbon buildup on my valves? The OEM’s need to warranty these types of motors for a longer period of time. They should also incorporate both Direct Injection with Multi-Port Fuel Injection on next years engines to keep those valve stems clean with pressurized gasoline flowing over them IMHO.

  32. Kit Gerhart Says:

    It seems that not all direct injection engines are equal, as far as valve carbon problems. I heard a lot about problems with earlier BMW GDI engines, but I haven’t heard much about problems with GM 3.6 V-6s with GDI. Maybe there are problems, but I just haven’t heard about them.
    Still, GDI seems like a lot of complexity, for not much. I’ve heard 3% better mpg, and a little more power, but not enough to notice. To me, the biggest advantage may be less “pickiness” about the octane of gas. My ’16 Corvette runs fine on regular, in normal driving, and gets about the same mpg. I think the direct injection contributes to that.

  33. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Possible use of GM factories:

  34. ChuckGrenci Says:

    As Kit mentioned, some foreign manufacturers had DI valve coking problems and probably some earlier U.S. makes as well. Seems this has mostly been minimized in engines of late. One explanation that I’ve heard, is that through the intake cycle there is a back-flush of fuel charge that washes over the intake valve stems which help clean and cool those valves. And again, Kit is right about the tolerance an engine can have with higher compression ratio using D.I. technology which helps both with economy (enough to matter) and higher horse power (seeing 300 plus h/p in six cylinder, non boosted engines).

  35. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Prius is one of few new cars to not use direct injection. They must not think the efficiency improvement justifies the extra expense, and power is a relatively low priority. I don’t know if the Atkinson cycle tuning changes the equation, but the some other Toyota hybrids do have GDI. I suspect cost is the main factor with Prius.

  36. Kit Gerhart Says:

    34 A friend has a Camaro with one of those 300+ hp sixes, and it is purely a regular gas burner. Premium is not required, or even “recommended.” It works great in that car. I suspect the direct injection helps it get that 335 or so hp from 3.6 unboosted liters, on regular gas.

  37. ChuckGrenci Says:

    Yeah, I’ve got the LGX 3.6 in my Caddy XT5; 310 h/p, cylinder deactivation, stop/start (not thrilled, difficult to defeat) but great power and fuel mileage.

  38. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The Camaro doesn’t have stop/start. I’m not sure if it’s a 2017 or 2018. Camaro may be the only application of that without S/S.

  39. Chuck Grenci Says:

    Just came down I-95 today, Charleston, SC to Orlando (miserable because of the storm); was getting over 32 mpg at 60 and under and just at 29 mpg at steady 70ish. I’ve done better on similar trips but the heavy rain had some effect. Cylinder deact. won’t come on over 60 mph.

  40. Kit Gerhart Says:

    That’s pretty good mileage for a tall vehicle like that. My Corvette gets about 29.5 on 1100 mile trips between FL and IN, going 75-78 most of the time. That is calculated from fillups, not the readout, though the readout is only a little “optimistic.” The Prius gets about 46 doing the same thing. Of course, the Prius gets double to triple the mpg of the ‘Vette in short trips, stop and go, etc. With the ‘Vette, cylinder deact. comes on at 70 and above, but probably on slight descents, so slight that I don’t even notice.

  41. ChuckGrenci Says:

    Great numbers for the Vette ( she’s hardly puffing and great aero) but impressive regardless. If your cylinder deact is like mine, I have to look at the dash to know whether it is activated or not; it is that seemless.

  42. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I have to look at the indicator too. I can’t feel the deact. I don’t have the “noisy on demand” exhaust, but I’d think you might hear that octave pitch change in noisy mode. Maybe it is always in quiet mode at light throttle.

  43. Lambo2015 Says:

    Yeah I have the 3.6L motor in my 2012 CTS and I have put 120,000 miles on it without any problems. I will occasionally run some fuel injector cleaner made specifically for DI engines but only done that a couple times. Not sure if it really does anything.

  44. Brett Cammack Says:

    Unless Ford has eliminated its two-tier stock setup, it doesn’t seem feasible for VW to assimilate them into the dustbin of history.

    RE: Jeep trucks. I’d be curious to cut a 2dr Wrangler body in half behind the doors, set the two pieces on a 4dr chassis and then fill in the empty mid-section with matching sheet metal. Instant Scrambler. Just add a fiberglass cab roof and back wall.