Announcing The Off-Road Success Center at The 2012 SEMA Show

1947 CJ-2A Fire Truck

Calling all dealers, jobbers, installers and other specialty equipment industry enthusiasts attending the 2012 SEMA Show. Located in booth #30147 in the Upper South Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center where other Truck, SUV and Off-Road equipment is showcased, the new Off-Road Success Center presented by OMIX/Rugged Ridge provides business owners and decision makers who want to be in the dynamic Jeep® and off-road lifestyle market an area to exchange ideas, learn new concepts for success and network with other like-minded people.

British 1944 Willys Special Air Services

Hosted by several third party experts within the industry, as well as leaders from OMIX, the Off-Road Success Center will offer twice daily educational seminars where experts will discuss their first-hand experiences and formulas for success. Additionally, the Off-Road Success Center will include one-on-one consultations, demonstrations and free print materials (seminar dates and times to follow) on these business impacting topics. A range of vehicles illustrating the rich history of the industry will also be on display, including vintage models provided by Jeep® Jamboree USA and OMIX.

Each seminar will be facilitated by OMIX personnel and led by industry specialists, who will share best practices, tips and tricks for maximizing sales, operational and marketing strategies within the off-road industry. Examples and case studies will also be presented. Planned seminars will include:

  • Recession-Proof Your Truck BusinessLifestyle Sells!
  • CA$H, the Fuel of Your BusinessHow to effectively create cash from your operations.
  • Data is the EngineHow to obtain, understand and simplify the loading of effective product data.
  • Dealerships Dealt a Winning HandHow Jeep® and truck dealerships win profit in the aftermarket.
  • Bricks vs. ClicksHow do brick and mortar stores profitability compete with online retailers?
  • Dare to DreamUse your passion to increase sales in the Jeep® and off-road market.
  • Social Media: Find, Connect and Engage CustomersBuild relevant content and consumer advocates to achieve greater success.

Links Supercharged JK

As the Photo Director/Staff Photographer of RIDES magazine, Andrew Link wanted his JK to stand out from the rest of the Jeep crowd. With the help of Xclusv Autosports he was able to reach his build goals.

LoD Front Bumper

LoD Rear Bumper w/ tire carrier

Smittybilt Sidesteps

Rugged Ridge Windshield Light Bar

Hella Black Magic lights

3M 1080 Scotchprint flat green wrap

R.I.P.P. Supercharger

20″ KMC Rockstar Wheels

37″ Nitto Mudgrappler Tires

2.5″ Teraflex Lift w/ Fox Shocks

 

For More photos, check the full write up on SNTRL.

Jeep and USA Basketball Team Up

PRESS RELEASE_________

The Jeep® brand and USA Basketball announced their partnership today as the Jeep Wrangler was named the “Official Vehicle of USA Basketball.” The Jeep brand formed a global partnership with USA Basketball to support the men’s and women’s national teams. Accordingly, the Jeep brand will launch a full advertising and marketing campaign scheduled to begin Saturday, April 28. The Jeep brand also announced the introduction of a uniquely designed special edition model, the 2012 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Altitude Edition, which will be featured in the campaign.

“Each member of the USA Basketball team embodies inner strength, passion, a drive to win and a true sense of dedication they use to not only represent their team, but also their country,” said Mike Manley, President and CEO – Jeep Brand, Chrysler Group LLC. “The Jeep brand is proud to be on the same team as these talented men and women. Both symbolize American pride, a strong history, a humble spirit, integrity, courage and leadership.”

“We are proud to have the Jeep brand’s support of USA Basketball as we prepare to represent our country both on and off the court this summer,” said Jerry Colangelo, USA Basketball Chairman. “The defining characteristics of these two American brands make the affiliation feel natural, and the strategic buildup of USA Basketball-themed events, along with the comprehensive advertising and marketing campaign, will put the Jeep brand top of mind with sports fans around the world.”

The Jeep brand also named 2012 USA Basketball finalist and 2008 team member, Chris Paul, as its spokesman for this partnership. In this role, Paul will be featured in the Jeep brand’s advertising campaign and appear in a series of video vignettes that will give viewers a behind-the-scenes look at various facets of the partnership with USA Basketball.

“Like all Jeep brand vehicles, Chris Paul defines the meaning of true athleticism and capability; we greatly admire his philanthropic efforts and dedication to giving back to the community. His altruistic nature, compassion and drive perfectly aligns with the Jeep brand values and makes him a great fit for this initiative,” said Manley.

“The Jeep brand has always been associated with the American spirit and as a member of the 2012 USA Men’s Basketball National Team, I am proud to serve as spokesman for Jeep’s partnership with USA Basketball,” stated Chris Paul. “The concept of the ‘Power Within’ is evidenced in my everyday life, both on and off the court. It will be that power that will energize USA Basketball and Jeep to maximize this global partnership in support of the Men’s and Women’s National Teams.”

______________________

Read more on the Jeep press release.

VWerks Recon Apocalyptic Jeep JK-8 Pickup

Story and Photos by Dan Sanchez

With the fear of an apocalyptic end to 2012 (thank you Mayan calendar), the VWerks Recon pickup truck may have doomsday preppers selling their minivans to store one of these in the bunker. This custom-built, military-inspired vehicle is made from a 2011 Jeep pickup that has a M2 machine gun mounted to the bed and features armor plate and a full rollcage. The combination seems like the perfect match of off-road capability, acceleration of a V-8 and the firepower to repel any attackers looking to steal your stockpile of peanut butter and jelly.

VWerks built the Recon as a test bed for its military and off-road accessories. It put together what it thought was a great combination of parts and accessories, starting with a Hemi V-8 engine conversion. The 5.7-liter Hemi makes 390 horsepower and 407 pounds-feet of torque, giving the Recon more than enough power to accelerate quickly and climb some of the steepest terrain with ease. The engine is also fed with a functional cowl induction hood that contains heat-extractor side vents.

The factory Jeep JK suspension has been modified with a VWerks 4-inch lift kit, which consists of a 1.5-inch body-lift and new coil springs. A Dynatrac Pro-Rock 60 front axle replaced the factory JK unit, while the rear was replaced with a Dynatrac Pro80 axle, outfitted with a Detroit Locker. Both axles use 5.38 gears and ARB air lockers. The 39-inch tall BFG Krawler tires are mounted on 17-inch diameter Hutchison beadlock wheels, and a PSC front-steering Ram Assist is also used to provide precise steering. A set of front and rear Genright fenders were also added to allow the large tires to gain maximum approach and departure angles when encountering steep terrain.

The military appearance and function to the Recon includes a VWerks 7/16 bed armor plate. It not only protects the occupants, but it also provides a sturdy platform for the machine gunner perch. The custom-made full-bed cage provides overhead protection and a wide array of mounting points for tools, storage and hardware. The rear also has a custom-stitched canvas cover that conceals the bed from onlookers who might want to steal any additional ammo or items you’ve scavenged during your daytime post-apocalyptic excursions.

Of course, it’s hard not to notice the Replica M2 machine gun on the MK93 machine gun mount with ammo can. There’s also an M240 adaptor for a 600-round ammo can and a 360-degree rotary mount that was provided by Crane Technologies. It’s enough protection and firepower to take on a city full of fast-running zombies — and have fun doing it.

Just in case you need to haul a tank or tow a vehicle out from a steep highway ditch, VWerks added a military-style rear bumper with a variety of towing and recovery attachment point combinations. There’s even a Warn 9.5ti winch that can be operated from inside the cab. But the inside of this vehicle isn’t full of armor or even a metal dash. The interior is where the military theme gives way to additional comfort and convenience. Two-tone Katzkin leather upholstery and VWerks floor mats provide a plush feel. All the instruments and gauges are factory JK Wrangler and include all the comforts you’d expect from a 2011 Jeep.  But Mopar half-doors allow an open view of terrain and a dash-mounted switch operates a set of powerful PIAA 520 ATP lamps that can expose any threat hiding in the darkness.

The Recon is definitely a vehicle that makes an impression. It’s when you step back and admire the capabilities and accessories on a vehicle like this that you wonder why some warlord would prefer to mount a machine gun on a pole and weld it into the bed of an old Toyota pickup?

All kidding aside, the potential for full military applications of the Recon isn’t hard to see. Even some toned-down versions of it — obviously without the machine gun and mounts — could be great for hunters or even farmers who constantly need to haul hardware through difficult terrain. While the Recon is more than the JK8 pickup, it’s a serious vehicle that has lots of potential for just about any purpose.

VWerks sells the Recon as a turn-key vehicle — ready to take on whatever challenge you may have for it.

Jeep Named Official Transportation Sponsor of Nobel Peace Prize Laureates

When one thinks of Jeep, one usually ties the brand with it’s history with the military. Ironically, recently Jeep was chosen to transport the Nobel Peace Prize winners at the World Summit. They opted for the more comfortable Grand Cherokees as the Jeep of choice, but the Jeep name still holds tight the connection to the original troop carrying Willys Jeeps of the 1940s.

More about this story on  available at Forbes: How Ironic: Jeeps Will Transport Nobel Peace Prize Winners At World Summit

Jeep Wrangler Sport Seats by Kahn

Kahn Wrangler Seats

 

British designer Kahn Design has recently unveiled his newest project, sport seats for the Jeep Wrangler. These seats are perfect for those who want stylish custom interiors as they are available in a wide range of colors and fabrics. When installed the Jeep doesn’t need any further modifications or adjustments as the seats use the standard seat belt and recline like the factory seats.

Kahn says “The principal British designer delivers the high-impact Kahn Jeep, complete with with such clout; it is safe to say that the Kahn Jeep would not look out of place with London, Chelsea or New York centric drivers, rock climbers and off-roaders at the helm, nor would it look weary in a John Connor inspired post-apocalyptic Terminator movie.” Kahn has had success working with Jeeps before, and this time is no exception. His attention to detail and build quality is unmatched.

For more information e-mail: Kahn@kahndesign.com

Phone: + 44 (0) 1274 74 99 99

Web: www.kahndesign.com

 

 

Jeep Signs New Sponsorship Deal with Juventus FC

 

The Fiat and Chrysler alliance has struck a deal with Serie A leaders Juventus F.C.  Fiat has signed a three-year contract with the Turin football club and now, with 35 million euro, Jeep logo will decorate Juventus jersey for the next three seasons through 2015.  This partnership is all about branding the Jeep name to push new models they are making in Italy some consider a “baby Jeep”.  Sources say the new model will be made in the Fiat’s Minafiori plant in Turin, Italy.  This is exciting news for both car enthusiasts and football fans.

 

 

Jeep registers 1,000,000th Fan on Facebook

 


Jeep becomes the first automaker to have over 1,000,000 fans on Facebook

n 2010, the Jeep brand experienced triple digit growth in its fan base on Facebook. In July, Jeep brand fans tested the size limits of Facebook’s photo album, “Photos by Others.” Fans exceeded the 20,000 photo-limit resulting in a need for Facebook to accommodate the increased number of images. We are guessing that nearly all of these fans that hit like have (or wish they have) a Jeep Wrangler accessorized with Rugged Ridge parts.

“We are honored to be the first and only domestic automotive brand that can claim more than 1 million Facebook fans,” said Mike Manley, President and CEO – Jeep Brand, Chrysler Group LLC. “This reinforces the fact that Jeep is clearly one of the most well-known and loved brands throughout the world, and comes as we continue to gain sales momentum and begin to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the brand.”

So have you added us on Facebook yet?

 

Jeep Gladiator 4-Door Pickup "Truck" Coming in 2013

Yellow Jeep Gladiator Pickup Concept

Last September in Orlando, Jeep CEO Michael Manley,  set Jeep forums and internet chat rooms ablaze by hinting that a Jeep pickup truck was in the future. No one knew what the tuck was or where it came from… Until now.

By hinting we mean, Manley concluded a speech to Jeep deal group by saying, ” “You never know what might show up in your showroom someday” and coolly exited the stage as the stunned audience glimpsed a yellow Jeep concept through sheer curtains.

Speculation was set aflame by the fact that no one got more a fleeting glance of the truck. There were no images of video footoage taken. Was it based on the Nukizer M715 Jeep released that year in Moab? Perhaps a take off of the J8 Egyptian Military Spec Jeep, the 2005 Gladiator Concept, or something new all together? The Jeep design team certainly didn’t know. They were busy sketching concepts of the redesigned Wrangler due out in 2012. The guys in charge of the Ram Truck division over a hearty, “Hell, no!”  when asked about the possibility of production.

Automotive News and other news sites were quick to debunk the production of a Jeep based truck; calling it all hype.  Ram certainly wasn’t happen about a the possibility of it’s sister brand cannibalizing their sales. Let’s face it Michael Manley never said the Jeep was headed for production when he walked off the stage. But what no one counted on was the fact that Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne was behind the idea.

2005 Jeep Gladiator Pickup Truck ConceptThe Jeep is none other than the 2005 Jeep Gladiator Concept with a new yellow job covering the original Armour Green. After crisscrossing the states for media blitzes and auto shows in 2005 the concept was retired to the Walter p. Chrysler Museum in Auburn Hills, Michigan. After disappearing from display for a few short weeks it is now sitting back behind the velvet rope sporting its new bright yellow paint.

The 2013 Gladiator will most likely be a cross between the 2005 concept and the Nukizer M715. It will be powered by the new 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6, 280 horsepower (209 kW) at 6,400 rpm and 260 lb.-ft. (353 Nm) of torque at 4,800 rpm, that sits under the hood of the 2011 Grand Cherokee, and will power all Jeep Wrangler in 2012. The bed will be shortened to 5ft too add two more feet to the passenger compartment, but will use a tailgate extender (like the Ford Explorer Sport) to accommodate larger objects.

Like the current Wrangler the new Jeep truck will be built in Toledo and will sit atop a front Dana 30 and rear Dana 44 axles, and be mated with a new Fiat transmission. The word is the Jeep is consider using the Gladiator name or reviving the Scrambler moniker.





Photo Credit: Yellow Jeep (USA Today)








Office Grudge Match: Tug of War

Jeep Tug of War

The office is basically like the gridiron. A certain amount of trash talking is  expected and even acceptable. In our industry that usually means guys with oversized egos compensating for undersized lifts and tires, if you know what I mean.

The longest running office spat started when a tech guy called out of one of our engineers and asked when he was going to trade in his 2WD Grand Cherokee for a “real Jeep”. The engineer asked replied in kind asked the tech guy the same question. When was he going to trade in his YJ for a “real” Jeep?

To be fair the YJ is the perennial red headed step child of the Jeep family. (How quickly can you say square headlights?) Half CJ7, half TJ it seems the YJ got the worst of both worlds. The ribbing knows no bounds. Example:

Question: Why don’t you see more YJ’s on the trail? Answer: Cash for Clunkers.

Question: What is the best upgrade you can make to YJ? Answer: A TJ

For the better good we decided it was time for this hate fest to end. Love heals all wounds. So, we tried to convince them to fight it out.  They need wounds before they can be healed, right? We have been religiously offering helpful solutions: Duels, Bicycle Jousting, Arm Wrestling, but the absolute best solution we came up with was a tug of war.

So, we ask you: WHO WILL WIN? The grocery getting 2004 2WD Grand Cherokee that is one step above the soccer mom minivan, or the 1993 anemic 2.5L YJ Wrangler? The Grand Cherokee is bone stock (minus the addition of a car seat). The YJ (Yuppie Jeep) is out fitted with a 4″ ORV Lift, 1″ shackle lift and the perquisite 3″ body lift with 35×12.5×12 super swampers.

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