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Old 02-27-2010, 02:55 AM   #1
AVANTI R5
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Default Jeep Wrangler hardtops hard to find

ENLARGE





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DETROIT -- Jeep dealers face a shortage of Wrangler hardtops in the next several months because of a “supplier constraint,” the company said in a memo to dealers yesterday.

The memo advised dealers to order softtop Wranglers during the period.

Troy Allen, owner of Allen Motors, a small Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge dealership in Derry, N.H., said he had hard a hard time getting any Wranglers but particularly hardtops.

“Nobody seems to be able to get hardtops,” and Chrysler has not offered a clear explanation for the shortage, he said. Allen said a lack of hardtop Wranglers would hurt his sales because most customers in wintry New England prefer the hardtop. Most customers are willing to spend the extra $735 option price to get the hardtop, he said.

“Wranglers in the Northeast would be 80-85 percent hardtops. People drive these things all winter long,” Allen said.

As of Feb. 1, Jeep had 16,653 Wranglers in its U.S. inventories -- a 69 day supply, according to the Automotive News data center. But the figures do not show how much inventory is hardtops.

The hardtops for the Jeep Wranglers were built by Meridian Automotive Systems Inc., which filed for Chapter 7 liquidation in early August last year. After Meridian ceased operations, the job was taken over by Continental Structural Plastics Inc., of suburban Detroit.

The tops are complex to manufacture and were difficult to move to a successor supplier, said a supplier executive familiar with Chrysler's Jeep roof problems. Those tops are made with sheet-molded composite plastic that requires large and expensive molding presses, paint application booths and curing ovens.

The top assembly requires about two dozen parts. The hardtop roof includes “freedom panels” that can be removed.

The Wrangler is manufactured at Chrysler's Toledo Supplier Park.

Today Chrysler issued a statement that did not address the specifics of the shortage:

“We continue to work with our supply base to align supply with demand and are very pleased that demand for both hardtop and softtop Jeep Wranglers is so robust. We are working to accommodate even greater demand on hardtops and have plans to augment existing production as necessary."
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Old 02-27-2010, 10:43 AM   #2
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If you desire a Jeep hardtop then drive the Toyota FJ cruiser. you will never own a jeep again.
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Old 02-28-2010, 10:26 AM   #3
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huh....

you do know the hardtop comes off right.

fj is nice and has some nice features but the ifs is a deal breaker.
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Old 02-28-2010, 10:44 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by AWDspider View Post
fj is nice and has some nice features but the ifs is a deal breaker.
not a big deal for those who are buying these offroad vehicles for road use... which is 50% or more of the buyers.
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Old 02-28-2010, 10:46 AM   #5
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tis true my friend
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Old 02-28-2010, 01:22 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Masterauto View Post
If you desire a Jeep hardtop then drive the Toyota FJ cruiser. you will never own a jeep again.
Not the total truth at all. When the 4-Door Jeep came out, our local dealer took over half a Dozen FJ's in on trade for them in a single month!

I'm convinced that Jeep owners may migrate to other vehicles to fill certain needs, but as soon as a Jeep is available to fill that need, they'll come right back.
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Old 03-04-2010, 06:09 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by kpluiten View Post
Not the total truth at all. When the 4-Door Jeep came out, our local dealer took over half a Dozen FJ's in on trade for them in a single month!

I'm convinced that Jeep owners may migrate to other vehicles to fill certain needs, but as soon as a Jeep is available to fill that need, they'll come right back.
Truth.
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Old 03-04-2010, 09:29 PM   #8
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If you desire a Jeep hardtop then drive the Toyota FJ cruiser. you will never own a jeep again.
Ya cause you won't be living.
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Old 03-05-2010, 12:56 AM   #9
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and the FJ will kill you...




literally.
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Old 03-05-2010, 12:56 AM   #10
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and the FJ will kill you...




literally.
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Old 03-05-2010, 11:25 AM   #11
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I'd think the FJ is a bit large compared to a Wrangler, along with the blind spots.

That is if you buy it to go off road, anyway.
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