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Press’ presentation of the new Grand Cherokee

Posted Wednesday, Apr 8, 2009, 12:09 pm in Employee News

Here is the text of Vice Chairman and President Jim Press’ presentation this morning from the press reveal of the all-new 2011 Jeep® Grand Cherokee at the New York International Auto Show.

Jim Press
Good morning.

Wouldn’t this make a great new company car?
(walk to stage)

For those of you who don’t know … this is the Fiat 500 – that’s Cinquecento in Italian.

It’s making a cameo appearance just to let you imagine the possibilities.

Heck … the whole car is about the same size of a HEMI® engine.

Cars like these … will really expand the choices we can give to American consumers.

Believe me … saving the environment and gas money never looked so good … and has never been so much fun!

The Cinquecento is a rave hit in Europe … in fact … it was voted Europe’s Car of the Year in 2008.

Among the top-selling brands in Europe … Fiat has the lowest CO2 emissions.

And its fuel-saving technologies are among the most advanced in the world.

And don’t you think this is a perfect car to get around New York City?
(pause for Fiat exit)

We’re known today for vehicles like the Chrysler 300C … our award-winning luxury car … along with our leading …
- minivans,
- SUVs,
- and pick-em-ups.

We’re really pleased that President Obama last week endorsed our proposed alliance
with Fiat.

This will be a great marriage … with no overlap in products or distribution.

We are working hard to meet the requests and time-tables put forth by the President’s automotive task force … … we appreciate their efforts and respect their conclusions.

Right now … it’s business as usual at Chrysler.

That means we’re focused on our customers and dealers … listening to what they have to say and working hard to earn their confidence and trust.

Just 20 months ago … the new Chrysler LLC was born … and under the steady hand of CEO Bob Nardelli … we quickly approved more than 400 product improvements … at a cost of $500 million … to enhance the …
- quality,- appeal- and fuel efficiency … of our vehicles.

Those are some of the reasons our quality has never been better.

Our warranty claims have gone down 30 percent over the past 12 months.

And last year … we had fewer recalls in the U.S. than any other major auto manufacturer.

Over the past 20 months … we have aggressively restructured our company … taking out more than $3.8 billion dollars of fixed costs.

Among domestic manufacturers …we have achieved the lowest inventory levels at our dealerships.

This means a lot of the costs of restructuring and inventory reduction is now behind us.

The new Chrysler LLC made a commitment to be green.

And in the 2009 model year … 73 percent of our products have better fuel economy than the year before.

On Monday … we announced the battery supplier for our first production electric vehicles.

In the Chrysler tradition of being the quintessential American company … we are partnering with A123Systems … which is based in Massachusetts and plans a Michigan-based production facility.

A123Systems will supply advanced lithium-ion batteries for a …
- jointly developed,
- proprietary,
- common battery module system …

that will allow us to quickly expand our portfolio of ENVI electric vehicles.

By the end of this year … we’ll have ENVI electric-drive vehicles in fleets.

And we’ll bring to market our first electric-drive vehicle next year … with more to follow.

Despite the deep automotive recession … we had a much more positive first quarter than you might think if you only read the headlines.

In March … we sold over 100,000 units for the first time in six months … and it shows that our improved quality, improved mileage, and improved value are starting to pay off.

While we’ve made a business decision to reduce fleet sales … our retail share of the market in the first quarter was 10.2 percent.

That was up two-tenths of a point from the same period last year … and an increase of nine-tenths of a share point from the fourth quarter of 2008.

In March … Jeep Wrangler sales were up 16 percent year over year … and Dodge Journey sold 127 percent more units year over year.

Our all-new Dodge Ram continues to win over customers … as we sold 34 percent more Ram trucks in March than the month before.

The new Ram has taken three-point-four (3.4) points of market share from every truck competitor … reaching 21.3% of the full-size truck segment.

It is truly the best truck ever built in terms of …
quality, craftsmanship, reliability and value.

The 2009 Dodge Ram is just the beginning of great things to come from Chrysler.

Today we’re introducing another vehicle that is going to show off this same new unwavering commitment to world-class quality.

With our original Jeep® Grand Cherokee in 1993 … we invented the luxury SUV segment.

And since its introduction … we’ve sold more than four million units in 86 countries.

And you should know that there’s a big love affair with this sport-utility right here in the Northeast … which accounts for about 35 percent of all Grand Cherokee sales.

We put the “grand” in Grand Cherokee.

Others followed.

Now it’s time for the one that started it all to retain the title of Most Capable Luxury SUV … period.

The 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee is all-new.

Every molecule.

We started with the vaunted Mercedes ML platform architecture … and we’re taking it to an even higher level.

No one else can combine Jeep capability with unsurpassed luxury.

All this … and we improved fuel economy by more than 11 percent.

The all-new Grand Cherokee has the legendary capability to take you anywhere you want to go … from the trail to the townhouse … and when you get to your destination … it says you’ve arrived in style.

Ladies and gentlemen … I’m proud to introduce our all-new 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee!

(pause - Jeep enters)

If you could buy any vehicle … and what you wanted was the greatest combination of luxury and capability … look no further! (pause)

Here to tell you why is … Chrysler’s Executive Vice President of Product Development …
Frank Klegon …

Frank Klegon
We have a great story to tell with our all-new Jeep Grand Cherokee.

As you can see … it has a fresh new look.

It’s also packed with innovative, customer-friendly features.

One of these features is our new Quadra Lift air suspension system … it raises and lowers the vehicle as much as four-and-a-half inches to provide a substantial ground clearance of more than 11 inches.

If you’re 6-foot-four like me … getting in and out at maximum ride height is not a problem.

The New Quadra Lift air suspension system improves ingress and egress for drivers and passengers of all sizes.

Watch the video … you can see the system raise the vehicle from park mode … to its maximum ride height. (pause - jeep raises)

Let’s talk more about capability.

Our all-new Jeep Grand Cherokee offers three 4WD systems for class leading traction … on and off-road.

All 4-by-4 models provide fully automatic performance starting with Quadra-Trac® I.

This efficient torque-split system … combined with brake traction control … delivers balanced capability in all weather conditions.

Quadra-Trac Two … our latest two-speed transfer case, incorporates …
- variable torque split,
- low range,
- and the all-new Selec-Terrain™ system.

And Quadra-Drive® further enhances this capability with an Electronic Limited-Slip Differential.

To give our customers further control of the Jeep Grand Cherokee’s capability …
we developed the Selec-Terrain system with five customized settings – including
- Auto,
- Sand/Mud,
- Sport,
- Rock,
- and Snow!

That means you’re ready for …
- any terrain,
- and any driving condition,
- at any time.

As you can tell … we have maintained our real-world Jeep capability.

But only 25 percent of Grand Cherokee owners take their vehicle off-road … so we had to ensure we provided on-road refinement consistent with the luxury vehicles in the segment.

Structural integrity is a key enabler for on-road refinement.

The all-new body structure is 146 percent stiffer than the current model.

That’s stiffer than the …
- BMW X5,
- Mercedes ML,
- and the Lexus RX350.

We beefed up the structure with an increased number of welds to provide the strongest possible body while controlling weight.

In fact … there are approximately 5,400 total welds in the body alone.

In addition … there are more than 3700 millimeters of arc welds …and more than 100 meters of structural adhesive.

We have designed this to be the most durable and refined SUV ever built.

Now … if you’ve driven our all-new 2009 Dodge Ram … you know that we made dramatic upgrades to ride through suspension design.

The same goes for the all-new Grand Cherokee …
- which has all-new independent front, and rear suspension …
- with isolated suspension cradles,
- and variable-rate rear springs.

The increased body stiffness and new suspension produce a premium on-road feel … together with the comfort you’d expect in a luxury vehicle … with minimal …
- cabin noise,
- vibration,
- and harshness.

The stiffened body also delivers precise steering and total body control while cornering.

All that … plus iconic Jeep toughness off road.

Our 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee also marks the first application of Chrysler’s all-new 3.6-liter V-6.

I’m sure you have heard us all call it Phoenix … well this is it!

This V-6 engine will replace seven different V-6s in our current lineup.

Its …
- lower weight,
- smaller size,
- flex-fuel capability,
- and modular design … make it a great platform to improve …
- fuel efficiency,
- refinement,
- power,
- and torque …
across Chrysler’s lineup.

The all-new V-6 in our Grand Cherokee features …
- variable-valve timing,
- 280 horsepower,
- and 260 pound-feet of torque.

That’s an increase of 33 percent in horsepower and 11 percent in torque.

This new engine … combined with vehicle efficiency improvements … accounts for a fuel economy improvement of more than 11 percent.

This should give customers a range of more than 500 miles on one tank of regular gas.

Customers can still opt for our legendary 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 that generates 360 horsepower and 390 pound-feet of torque.

The HEMI features variable-valve timing and fuel-saving MDS with dual exhaust in order to maximize efficiency.

With the HEMI … the all-new Grand Cherokee will offer unsurpassed trailer tow capability up to 7,400 pounds.

For international markets … the customer can also choose …
- a 3 Liter diesel engine supplied by Mercedes …
- as well as left- and right-hand-drive models.

As you can see … our all-new Grand Cherokee has a profile that is sculpted and athletic.

It is much more aerodynamic … with an 8 percent reduction in drag which is great for fuel economy.

And it’s still unmistakably Jeep!

Quadra-Lift™ air suspension complements the profile by transforming maximum off-road clearance to a low aero-friendly ride at highway speed.

The all-new Grand Cherokee features CommandView … an all-new dual-pane panoramic sun roof … and a power rear liftgate with a remote … for convenient operation.

Other exterior features include …
- new 20-inch wheels,
- and high-intensity discharge headlamps,
- plus segment-first SmartBeam headlamps that adjust to ambient light and oncoming traffic in order to deliver maximum lighting.

The story continues inside.

I know you were blown away by the interior of our all-new Dodge Ram … wait ’til you see this!

Our all-new Grand Cherokee shows the full benefits of going through our Advance Interior Design Studio.

The list of top-notch interior features is long:
- Premium, soft-touch materials …
- leather instrument panel …
- real wood …
- Heated steering wheel,
- front seats that heat and cool,
- and even heated rear seats,
- as well as four-way power lumbar controls …
- rain-sensitive wipers … - Keyless Entry/Keyless Go …
- a ParkView rear camera …
- and a power tilt/telescoping steering column with memory.

You’ve got to get inside to experience this luxury first-hand.

The all-new Jeep Grand Cherokee has ample room for five passengers and gear … with 17 percent more cargo capacity than the current model.

There’s even removable cargo-storage bins in the spare tire compartment.

A fold-flat front-passenger seat improves carrying capability … and there are even more storage areas in the instrument panel.

It’s easier to get in and out of this vehicle … thanks to larger front- and rear-door openings.

And there’s more than four inches of additional rear-seat knee and leg room with reclining second-row seats.

You don’t always hear this … but I want to encourage you to sit in the back seat so you can really appreciate the extra room.

The all-new Jeep Grand Cherokee features more than 45 safety and security features, including …
- standard Electronic Stability Control with Electronic Roll Mitigation,
- Hill-Start Assist,
- Trailer Sway Control,
- and Hill-Descent Control.

Standard are full-length side-curtain … and front side thorax air bags … as well as active head restraints that deploy to better protect occupants in a rear collision.

This new model also comes with Blind Spot and Rear Cross Path advance safety systems.

The blind-spot system detects a possible unseen vehicle when changing lanes … while the rear-cross-path system warns the driver if any traffic is crossing behind the vehicle while in reverse.

These safety systems were launched exclusively on Chrysler’s minivans … and now we’re moving these technologies across our product lines.

The Grand Cherokee also will offer two important new safety systems …
- Adaptive Cruise Control,
- and Forward Collision Warning.

Adaptive Cruise Control automatically reduces cruise-control speed when closing in
on another vehicle or when another vehicle pulls into your lane …

… and then resumes the set speed when the lane is clear.

Forward-Collision Warning detects when the vehicle may be approaching another vehicle too rapidly and alerts the driver. (pause)

By this time you’ve heard us talk about “uconnect” … and we recently showcased our latest “uconnect” features on the Chrysler 200C EV Concept car.

This all-new Jeep Grand Cherokee is loaded with ‘uconnect” technologies.

Uconnect guardian includes security features like …
- automatic crash notification …
- emergency calling …
- roadside assistance calling …
- remote door unlock …
- and assistance in finding a stolen vehicle.

With uconnect tunes … you get …
- a wireless Bluetooth connection for cell phones and future MP3 players,
- enabling streaming music,
- and new USB connection with digital technology that enables voice search by song title and artist or iPod users.

Our uconnect navigation features an industry first … all-new Garmin navigation system integrated into our midline radios.

It offers the customer award-winning Garmin features … like …
- two- and three-dimensional maps,
- a one-touch emergency locator,
- points of interest,
- and the ability to save favorites and customize routes …

… and all with the convenience of a system integrated directly into the vehicle.

The 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee also features Sirius Travel Link … giving drivers up-to-the minute information about …
- gas prices,
- weather conditions,
- sports scores,
- and movie listings.

In addition … our all-new Grand Cherokee features Sirius Traffic … which monitors traffic in 78 markets across the U.S. and continuously displays those conditions through the vehicle’s nav system.

Together Sirius Traffic and Travel Link … connect Jeep Grand Cherokee drivers and passengers to the information they need while on or off the road.

And we didn’t leave the rear-seat passengers out … they can enjoy Sirius Backseat TV … still a Chrysler exclusive … which features live TV programming from three top family networks.

Speaking of entertainment … this Grand Cherokee offers a premium Alpine audio system
- with nine speakers plus a sub-woofer …
- surround sound …
- and an impressive 506-watts of total power.

Another smart feature is the Remote Start.

The Remote Start is engineered with the intelligence to do what you want it do …
- it automatically cools the car when it’s hot outside …
- or warms it when it’s cold outside … including the seat and steering wheel.

So let me sum it all up.

Where else are you going to find all this in one package?

- Premium on-road ride and handling thanks to a stiff body and an excellent suspension system …
- a sumptuous interior…
- an all-new V-6 that gives you an 11 percent increase in fuel economy and a 500-mile range … - a host of luxury features and innovative connectivity technologies …

… all this, and so much more with uncompromised Jeep capability!

The all-new Jeep Grand Cherokee will take you far beyond the ordinary … no matter what your destination is.

And now I’d like to bring Jim Press back up to the stage.

Jim Press
Thanks Frank … the all-new Jeep Grand Cherokee sets a new standard for an American luxury automobile.

It will be sought after by the most discerning luxury SUV customers.

And with our new business model … we will be able to offer this world-class-quality vehicle at a very affordable price.

It’s unusual to show off a new vehicle this far in advance … but the fact is that
we’re just bubbling over with excitement because we know how good our future product pipeline really is.

We’re working toward an exciting alliance with Fiat.

We’re introducing 8 new vehicles in the next 18 months alone.

Look at this picture of the new Chrysler 300 instrument panel … it’s just a taste of what’s coming from our Advance Interior Design Studio.

For Chrysler … this is “business as usual” …
- designing,
- engineering,
- manufacturing,
- selling,
- and servicing …

the most …
- exciting,
- capable
- and stylish cars and trucks in the industry.

We’re working hard and going forward.

We realize we have a responsibility to the American public … a responsibility to put the customer first … and focus on quality period.

A responsibility to make quality cars with great value.

No one’s running faster than Chrysler.

Now … we invite you all to come up and take a look at our great future but first … we’d like to give the photo journalists a few minutes to take some photographs.

Thank you.
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