The Amphibious Jeep Wrangler

Posted on October 26, 2012


This one’s really neat. Crosses Oceans and outsources workers.

Remember that I recently posted about Government Motors thanking American taxpayers for the bailout, by forecasting a move to shift production to China?

I know you remember all the shameless boasting the  ‘Narcissist In Chief’ has been doing in the presidential debates and in stump speeches about how he ‘saved’ American jobs.  The Romney campaign missed a Golden opportunity to shove GM’s spiteful move in Obama’s face.   That would have been a straight up, over the plate, 98 mph fastball strike.

Here’s strike 2.   Obama visited Chrysler’s Jeep Wrangler plant in Toledo, Ohio last year.  According to the Washington Examiner, he even included a picture of himself speaking at the Toledo plant in his newly released second term agenda binder. In his address to the plant in 2011, Obama said,

“I just took a short tour of the plant and watched some of you putting the finishing touches on the Wrangler. Now, as somebody reminded, I need to call it the ‘iconic’ Wrangler. And that’s appropriate because when you think about what Wrangler has always symbolized. It symbolized freedom, adventure, hitting the open road, never looking back.”

Well, well.  Guess what?  Chrysler’s motto is turning out to be prophetic – only this time, the Wrangler will be hitting the open seas and ‘never looking back’.  In an interview with Bloomberg News, Chrysler spokeshole, CEO Mike Manley stated – “Fiat SpA, majority owner of Chrysler Group LLC, plans to return Jeep output to China and may eventually make all of its models in that country”.

“We’re reviewing the opportunities within existing capacity as well as should we be localizing the entire Jeep portfolio or some of the Jeep portfolio to China.” 

That, in plain talk, means they intend to do so and will do so.

Instead of a triumph for American manufacturing and workers, Obama’s meddling is a train wreck.  Whether this is an ‘unintended consequence’ or something else – should this be something that Ohio voters reward Obama for?

By the way, just curious –  would you consider purchasing an ‘iconic Jeep Wrangler manufactured in Communist China?

Hey Mr. President – you have my permission to ‘hit the open road and never look back’.  I know I won’t.


Because the story behind this post originated on Bloomberg News, based on some quotes given their reporter, by the above named company executives – there has been a significant public relations blowback against Chrysler and Fiat SPA.  Incredible, isn’t it?  Who would have ever expected that to happen?

As a result, Chrysler / Fiat’s Gualtiero Rainieri (Chrysler’s Senior VP-Corporate Communications) is hastily issuing a blanket denial of those quotes in the Bloomberg report.  Not only is he denying the obvious meaning of the story, but he is ridiculing the blogosphere for inferring something in the story that didn’t exist.  Here are his comments:

“There are times when the reading of a news wire report generates storms originated by a biased or predisposed approach.

“On October 22, 2012, at 11:10 a.m. ET, the Bloomberg News report ‘Fiat Says Jeep Output May Return to China as Demand Rises’ stated “Chrysler currently builds all Jeep SUV models at plants in Michigan, Illinois and Ohio. Manley (President and CEO of the Jeep brand) referred to adding Jeep production sites rather than shifting output from North America to China.”

“Despite clear and accurate reporting, the take has given birth to a number of stories making readers believe that Chrysler plans to shift all Jeep production to China from North America, and therefore idle assembly lines and U.S. workforce. It is  a leap that would be difficult even for professional circus acrobats.

“Let’s set the record straight: Jeep has no intention of shifting production of its Jeep models out of North America to China. It’s simply reviewing the opportunities to return Jeep output to China for the world’s largest auto market. U.S. Jeep assembly lines will continue to stay in operation. A careful and unbiased reading of the Bloomberg take would have saved unnecessary fantasies and extravagant comments.” 

Nice try, Gualtiero – but not good enough.  We’ve reviewed the original report on Bloomberg, sir – and you are wrong or in denial mode.  Here is the actual statement from the Bloomberg story:

Fiat SpA (F), majority owner of Chrysler Group LLC, plans to return Jeep output to China and may eventually make all of its models in that country, according to the head of both automakers’ operations in the region.

“The volume opportunity for us is very significant,” Manley, who is also president of the Jeep brand, said in an interview at Chrysler’s Auburn Hills, Michigan, headquarters. “We’re reviewing the opportunities within existing capacity” as well as “should we be localizing the entire Jeep portfolio or some of the Jeep portfolio.”

So, Gualtiero – typical of corporate public relations spokesholes worldwide, you have attempted to effect damage control by placing the blame for the controversy on writers in the media including the alternative media, when it is clear that your company let slip its intentions and now wishes to retract them.

I have no intentions of correcting or retracting the content of this post.  It is and was based on ‘a careful and unbiased reading of the ‘Bloomberg take’.  It’s one thing for Mr. Ranieri to walk back a statement of company executives.  It’s quite another to make a liar and a scoundrel out of himself in the process.