Today Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) went through its revised business plan for the near future. Basically, it’s dumping some small cars so they can build more Jeeps and trucks. But don’t worry, they’ve got some exciting ideas about keeping their average emissions down and fuel economy up.
As you can see on this slide from FCA’s presentation, the next generation Wrangler will drop in 2017 as we’ve already known.
What’s exciting to see is that shortly after the new Wrangler’s debut, we’re going to get some mild efficiency tweaks, then a diesel, then incredibly, a hybrid electric variant sometime after 2022.
Seems like the Ram pickup will be getting similar treatments, albeit a little later, with a “mild hybrid” planned for around the same time this Wrangler HEV hits the dirt.
As for the other side of the company’s coin; the Dodge Dart and Chrysler 200 “will run their course” (into demise) to make more room on assembly lines for Jeeps and Ram pickups, according to Automotive News and The Detroit Free Press.
“Jeep is the bedrock of this business plan,” CFO Richard Palmer was quoted in Automotive News; which went on to explain that Jeep is moving their new 2018 sales target to 2 million vehicles worldwide and that the company’s hoping to keep growth strong by “increasing production capacity in North America, Asia and Latin America.”
Jeep blew everybody’s minds in 2015 when they set a new sales record of 1.2 million vehicles. And as long as gas stays cheap, which the company’s convinced is guaranteed, they plan to keep pimping trucks SUVs until the wheels fall off.
If gasoline prices ever do increase, well, we’ll just have to hope the Wrangler Hybrid is on sale by then.
Hard to understand why Jeep would choose to confirm offerings as iconoclastic as diesel and hybrid versions of the beloved Wrangler in a damn PowerPoint presentation, but there it is.
I’m thrilled at both prospects; diesel is great for range and torque, a hybrid Wrangler could be a great way to enjoy open-air driving for four people without draining every gas station you pass. Bring it on!
We’ll keep you posted on the development and details of these vehicles as they come to light, and hopefully figure out a little more of what they mean by “mild-hybrid” and “next-gen powertrains” before we get to the really exciting stuff.
Don’t forget, Jeep has also confirmed a super high-performance Grand Cherokee Hellcat, ultra-lux Grand Wagoneer, and a pickup truck variant of the next Wrangler in the near future. What a time to be alive! And a Jeep fan.
Images via Fiat Chrysler Automobiles