With their new five year plan Chrysler does not want to fall behind. With Ford, Land Rover and Jaguar launching their new models in a full aluminum body, Jeep plans to make their new Wrangler using the same production methods.
Aluminum bodies have shown a great advantage on off road vehicles by reducing the center of gravity. Furthermore, adding it to the portfolio may encourage new customers that, most of the times, do not know much about how much better it is the new spec, or change in body or in engine, but when they hear it is new and better they just want to jump on it.
There is another reality attached to this new aluminum body. As we heard during our trip to Detroit, the CAFE standards will require all car manufacturers to be able to perform about 54.5 mpg by the year 2025. Light aluminum bodies are one of the key factors in reducing car weights, and therefore increasing the average miles per gallon. With their history of big engines and low fuel efficiency, these standards have created panic at Jeep, where they will have to try everything possible to match the CAFE standards, stay in business, and doubling their sales by 2018 for which they also plan to add some new models.