The Jeep Geek

The Jeep Geek's Blog
Jan 2012

Resolutions Jeep Should Make

Having just finished his annual self-indulgent article on New Year resolutions, The Jeep Geek turns his attention to Chrysler. So how does The Jeep Geek get off telling Chrysler what they should do with Jeep? Well, two reasons:

  1. He talks to Jeep customers all day long and knows what they want. He is one himself and knows what he wants. Chrysler needs to spend more time with potential buyers to even better understand their wants and needs.
  2. Someone has to. There are product features and options that have been missing and are keenly desired.

First The Jeep Geek wants to put credit where credit is due. In the last two years, Jeep has climbed back to the top of the SUV market. This was done with some great products, most noteworthy are the Jeep Grand Cherokee and the Jeep Wrangler. The Grand Cherokee is the most awarded SUV in history and is truly a blend of elegant style and pure performance. Yes, The Jeep Geek is a fan. Then this year, Chrysler has fixed the only complaint with the Jeep Wrangler...they replaced the aging 3.8L (232Cubic Inch) V6 engine with the Pentastar giving us much more horsepower. Jeep’s quality has improved and is the top domestic brand for quality according to Consumer Reports (who have not been kind to Jeep in the past). All in all, they have done a tremendous job in a tough economy. But the competition is not sitting still and neither can Jeep.

So, The Jeep Geek’s list of resolutions for Jeep:

  • There is not a month that goes by when The Jeep Geek is not asked about a diesel Wrangler. The Pentastar engine takes some of the steam out of this request, but there are such significant advantages for the diesel engine. First, a diesel Wrangler already exists in Europe where emissions laws are as strict as here in the US. So what gives?? The diesel engine is very torquey at the low end where it is needed in off-roading. Fuel economy and fuel cost are both better for diesel and may provide some relief from government regulation that require improvements in Chrysler’s fleet. Finally, despite the improvement that the Pentastar engine provides, there is significant demand here in Boulder when many residents dream of converting french fry oil into diesel fuel. This could spark a large growth in the restaurant industry because of a demand for used cooking oil...think of all the jobs that this would create.
  • Build the JK8 at the factory. Recently The Jeep Geek wrote an article on the Jeep Wrangler pickup truck that we built. Mopar built a kit to convert a 4 door wrangler into the JK8. Overall a cool looking Wrangler, but this is an inefficient process resulting in a high price tag. Since the Wrangler is built using body on frame construction, it makes all this possible, but in reality it would be cheaper to build the JK8 at the factory than building a 4 door Wrangler. For example, the hard top is smaller saving money, there are only two door rather than four, saving money, there is no back seat saving money, the roll bar doesn’t have to extend all the way to the back, saving money. Overall a factory built JK8 could be built for less than the cost of the 4 door...and certainly for less than the cost of converting a 4 door to a JK8 at the dealership. So is there a market for a cheaper Jeep pickup truck. You bet, it would compete with small pickup truck offerings from the other manufacturers but would kick their butts off-road. If the JK8 kit was a market acceptance test, it was flawed. The cost to do in the field added $12,000 to the base price of the 4 door wrangler. Cost elasticity will put this $50,000 small pickup truck out of the mainstream market.
  • Lets refresh the Liberty. There is a mid-sized SUV market that the Liberty competes in, however the Liberty’s age is showing. It is getting harder to compete with an underpowered rolling box. Time to get the Pentastar engine and the Grand Cherokee’s 5 speed transmission into this unit (the 6 speed would even be better). Also, time for a re-design providing some nice shape to this unit. If Jeep does this with the same quality as the Grand Cherokee, then Toyota will not be able to sell a single Rav4. We need this product for 2013.
  • Next, build a version of the Grand Cherokee with three rows of seating. There is a market for this mini-van alternative here in Colorado where the snow makes a soccer mom’s (or Hockey mom’s) blood turn cold thinking about their precious cargo in a two wheel drive van.
  • Finally, lets advertise the Patriot and Compass a bit more. Last summer when Chrysler was running Compass advertising we sold a boat load of these great little SUVs. Stealth marketing just doesn’t work. The Jeep Geek guesses that Chrysler’s plan was to have the sales folks at their stores showcase these small SUVs to customers who show up at the showroom. The problem with that approach should seem obvious...the folks that show up at a Jeep store are looking for larger know, the kind that Jeep advertises. If someone is interested in a small SUV that is great on gas, they probably aren’t stumbling into a Jeep store. They go to a Subaru store where they are purchasing inferior product at a higher price. Subaru is the most popular car in Boulder Colorado...remember the residents here dream of converting french fry oil to diesel you a clue to our market. The fringe, however with the quality that Jeep puts into these small SUVs, they would crush Subaru if given nearly as much advertising as competition us help you.

OK, two days in a row of self-indulgent posts. The Jeep Geek will now rest from his labors and go back to more informative articles. If there are topics you would like to see covered, leave a comment. The Jeep Geek does read them.

As always, The Geek abides.


A New Year...again

The Jeep Geek has certainly seen many New Years, and even made a bunch of New Year resolutions...recently he has determined to keep them through the year and looks forward to this time of year to plan for the upcoming year.

Most of last year’s resolutions were accomplished, and with this The Jeep Geek is laying out, for the world to see, his current plan for 2012. It is a bit ambitious but still doable if finances permit.

First a recap, last year He purposed to re-do the web site to make it a bit more 2.0 compliant. This required him to learn a new tool. Mission accomplished. He added some advertisements to help de-fray the cost of all this, done!! He purposed to lose some weight...a new trimmer and leaner The Jeep Geek now exists. What was not accomplished is the creation of The Jeep Geek podcast. The cost of the equipment and software forced this project to move to 2012.

So for 2012, the resolutions are:

  1. Build the sound studio and begin The Jeep Geek podcasts
  2. Start video taping some of The Jeep Geek’s off-road trips to provide some instruction on techniques as well as some entertainment by displaying the glory of our back country here.
  3. Guest write some other automotive blogs to increase the readership of The Jeep Geek’s blog.
  4. Improve the affiliate marketing of The Jeep Geek with some more businesses that may have much in common with Jeeping and off-road.
  5. Now this is a stretch goal, but The Jeep Geek has been looking at what it will take to build an app that would run on smart phones and iPads. He has some concepts in mind, and based on the costs, may be able to pull it off if the google ads provide enough income to off set this a bit. The Jeep Geek website is a non-profit venture and likely to stay such.
  6. Finally, The Jeep Geek purposes to get out more...he loves the trails and wants to spend more time there. Life just sometimes gets in the way. Many of these trips will be opened to the readers of this site, and his customers at Pollard Jeep in Boulder. Go wheelin with the Geek.

There are some personal goals as well as some professional goals to be sure, but these goals may not be of interest to the greater community of this site...then again you probably already clicked off to another site...sigh. But this had to be done.