Compiled by John Stewart
China continues to be a very important market for Chrysler’s Jeep line. Last year it became the brand’s largest global market. Imported models have driven that growth, but Chrysler has been talking for years about producing Jeeps in China. It looks as though that will become a reality next year. Adding domestically produced models to the mix should boost both sales of Jeeps and opportunities for SEMA members.
Meanwhile, the Jeep brand introduced four new design concepts at the 2014 Beijing International Motor Show earlier this week. The four design concepts include two interpretations of the all-new Jeep Cherokee—the Sageland and Urbane—a premium, luxury version of the Jeep Wrangler called the Jeep Wrangler Sundancer, and the Zi You Xia, a special design concept based on the all-new ’15 Jeep Renegade.
“Jeep is one of the fastest-growing imported brands in China, and this is our largest Jeep market outside the U.S.,” said Mike Manley chief operating officer for Asia Pacific and president and CEO – Jeep Brand, Chrysler Group LLC. “It makes sense for us to use this year’s Beijing Motor Show as a platform to explore how consumers react to these new Chinese-inspired ideas that may find their way into future production vehicles.”
The Jeep Wrangler lineup in China currently includes the Sport, Sahara and the Rubicon model on which the Jeep Wrangler Sundancer design concept is based. Jeep Wranglers in China are fitted with 3.6L V6 Pentastar engines or 3.0L V6 Pentastar engines.
In 2012, a previous special version of the Jeep Wrangler, the Wrangler Dragon, debuted at the Beijing Show as a design concept and is now being produced and sold not only in China but also in markets such as the United States, Australia and Puerto Rico.
Nearly 800,000 people attended the Beijing Motor Show in previous years.
Jeep Zi You Xia Design Concept
Jeep Zi You Xia
Following its world-premiere appearances at the 2014 Geneva and New York auto shows, the all-new Jeep Renegade now debuts as a special design concept in Beijing. Zi You Xia, which means “rebel,” is a new concept that highlights a more sophisticated aspect of the Renegade’s personality. The roof panel, grille surrounds and door mirror caps are painted a dark charcoal to provide harmonious accents and a more premium appearance throughout. Twenty-inch, dark anodized bronze alloy wheels contribute additional visual flair and hint at the vehicle’s on-road/off-road driving dynamics.
The all-new Renegade offers a nine-speed automatic transmission. Designed for global markets and manufactured with up to 16 powertrain combinations—the most ever in a Jeep vehicle—it has been engineered to meet the specific requirements of customers all around the world.
Jeep Cherokee Urbane Design Concept
Jeep Cherokee Urbane
The new Jeep Cherokee Urbane design concept couples the night life of a modern megacity. The Urbane features a sleek, maximum steel metallic exterior with hyper black accents on the roof rack, door mirror caps, grille collars, front and rear fascias, wheel finishings, vehicle badging and antenna. In China, the all-new Jeep Cherokee is equipped with the 3.2L V6 Pentastar and the 2.4L MultiAir petrol engines coupled with a nine-speed automatic transmission.
Jeep Cherokee Sageland Design Concept
Jeep Cherokee Sageland
The design theme and color palette for the new Jeep Cherokee Sageland was inspired by the historical landmarks and natural sceneries found throughout the Shangri-La region. The concept’s exterior is painted in ivory tri-coat pearl with bronze grille collars and front and rear fascia appliques. The daylight opening (DLO), roof rack, door mirror caps and exhaust tips are painted in satin bronze chrome, enhancing the overall look and adding to the vehicle's style.
Inside Sageland, the earth-tone color palette continues with a combination of light, neutral gray Nappa leather seats with red and water-blue accent stitches. The seats also feature stitching inspired by traditional Chinese knot design, and the pattern on the door appliqués derived from the color and finish of Chinese ornamental door knobs.
Jeep Wrangler Sundancer Design Concept
Jeep Wrangler Sundancer
For the Beijing Show, Jeep designers combined the capability of the Jeep Wrangler with a touch of sophistication to create the Jeep Wrangler Sundancer. The design concept is painted a tri-coat chocolate brown metallic color with gold accents. The fender flares feature a golden bronze tone-on-tone ghosted pattern, and the windows also have bronze tinted glass. Completing the Jeep Wrangler Sundancer’s exterior appearance are 20-in. pale-gold billet aluminum wheels with polished gold inserts, and a multi-piece billet aluminum fender badge.
Read more about "China's Growing Love Affair with Jeeps" in the April issue of SEMA News.