A group of Jeep fans desires Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne to make a Sophie’s Selection-style selection to save their beloved offroader.
To steer clear of the destruction of the storied brand at the hands of its parent organization, FCA must cast it loose, the group states in a strongly-worded Change.org petition.
“As owners and fans of Jeep vehicles, we are calling on Fiat Chrysler Automobiles to separate Jeep from FCA’s steady of failing brands and debt,” the petition states. “We urge FCA to execute a spinoff to save Jeep.”
The group claims the sturdy-performing Jeep has FCA’s 6 billion euro debt hanging more than its head like a guillotine, whilst its association with owner Fiat risks undermining the brand’s reputation for rugged high quality. By spinning off the brand like FCA did with Ferrari, Jeep could survive as an independent, they claim.
The group goes on to say that although Jeep (like Ram) is a single of FCA’s chief funds makers, its sales performance is being taken for granted by Marchionne, who is using the brand as a money cow to lessen his company’s debt load.
“FCA’s strategy is not to honor the Jeep brand, but to cannibalize it,” they claim.
The petition was started by Michael Turk, a Virginia resident and life-extended Jeep aficionado. Turk’s first car was a 1985 CJ7, and he’s considering that bought two a lot more Wranglers, with a 1953 CJ-3B project car awaiting restoration.
In an e mail to TTAC, he acknowledged the extreme unlikeliness of his petition swaying the head of FCA into cutting loose one of his top income generators. Turk sees it just as giving a voice to the “undercurrent of concern” for the brand among Jeep loyalists.
“I began the petition since I am concerned that the headwinds for FCA spell disaster for Jeep,” he stated, adding that the troubles afflicting the brand concerns a lot more than just corporate debt.
“The coming increases in emissions requirements spell problems for a business that sees most of its income from light trucks and SUVs. Unless they make important changes (and its not clear they have the capital to do so) the stream of money from Jeep sales may possibly soon run quick and that will leave couple of very good choices for the brand.”
Turk said he’d like to see the petition turn out to be a “rallying point” for Jeep lovers, and hopes it compels FCA executives to commence seeing its customers as people, not marketplace share.
TTAC reached out to Jeep public relations officials about the petition, who chose not to comment on the matter.