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Old 01-30-2010, 08:19 AM   #1
AVANTI R5
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Default Chrysler has ambitions for Jeep

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The Jeep brand has outlived every company that has owned it, and with every change in control there has been a new strategy to capitalize on the brand. Chrysler Group LLC, following bankruptcy and an alliance with Fiat SpA, is no exception.

Image-wise, Jeep is the strongest of Chrysler's four brands and needs the least fixing. Product-wise, the automaker wants to replace everything but the Wrangler and Grand Cherokee with vehicles engineered by Fiat to take advantage of cost savings through economies of scale.

Chrysler's new management is tinkering with what constitutes a Jeep as it seeks to leverage Fiat's strength in small cars and fuel-efficient engines and tap into the Italian automaker's strong network of dealers in Europe and Latin America.

By overhauling the lineup, entering new segments, stepping up marketing and expanding internationally, Chrysler has ambitious plans to increase global Jeep sales from 338,000 in 2009 to 800,000 in 2014. "Chrysler has to protect the crown jewel," said Aaron Bragman, research analyst with IHS Global Insight in Troy. "When Jeep sticks to its core values it does well. Jeep has always been a trucky off-road brand and whenever they got away from that it did not go well."

Most notable in these misses was the introduction of the Compass and Patriot that DaimlerChrysler AG brought to the market to offer a more affordable, urban entry-level Jeep. Neither sold well and are slated to be eliminated -- or replaced with a single Fiat platform vehicle -- in 2012.
Chrysler's five-year plan continues to include "soft" or car-based Jeeps and adds a subcompact Jeep in 2013 from the Fiat Group that will be exported, likely from Europe, back to North America.

"It's a huge mistake," Gerald Meyers, University of Michigan professor and former chairman of past-Jeep owner AMC, said of softening the brand. "I couldn't think of anything worse for the brand."

There are two schools of thought on Jeep and Meyers belongs to the old school of purists for whom Wrangler and off-roading is the icon. This group prefers the boxy Commander to the softer curves of the Grand Cherokee and never forgave Chrysler for replacing the old Cherokee with a nicer-riding Liberty. A second school recognizes most Jeep owners don't go off-road and appreciate a suspension more suited to suburbia than the Rubicon Trail. To tap into the popularity of car-based crossovers, Jeep softened its criteria about the capability levels required to be badged Jeep and created the compact Compass and Patriot which share their underpinnings with the Dodge Caliber.

Under CEO Sergio Marchionne, Jeep will continue to straddle the two schools by maintaining the Chrysler-engineered hard-core Jeeps while improving the softer Jeeps with Fiat's help and using the European operations of the new combined company to expand sales.

Brand has fans worldwide

Internationally, Jeep has appeal and already represents 43 percent of Chrysler's sales outside North America.
Chrysler hopes to build on that by using Fiat resources to expand into new segments, especially high-volume smaller vehicles, as well as tapping Fiat's significantly larger distribution network and infrastructure in Europe and South America.

"Today we offer six Jeeps across three segments," said Mike Manley, head of the Jeep brand. "Into the future we'll be able to offer more targeted product with expanded segments."

That includes adding a subcompact Jeep that may be low-volume in the U.S., but that segment represents large volume elsewhere in the world.

Bragman warns that a subcompact Jeep faces competition from foreign brands with a head start. "A comfortable and fuel-efficient crossover is not what people go to Jeep for," Bragman said.

Jeep's Manley, however, said the brand can broaden its urban appeal, but must be careful. "We don't want to dilute what Jeep means," Manley said.

Future Jeeps can have an improved ride, be smaller, quieter and more fuel-efficient, but they must still have four-wheel-drive capability that sets them apart from other crossovers, Manley said. Even the subcompact Jeep can take advantage of existing technology in vehicles like the tiny Fiat Panda, which has four-wheel drive.

But critics like Meyers think Jeep has gone dangerously far into crossover territory and sullied the brand. "They've already gone much too far and it has proven to be unsuccessful."

In the U.S. Jeep sales of 231,700 in 2009 were less than half the 495,400 sold a decade ago, according to Autodata Corp. Much of the drop is attributed to the Grand Cherokee losing favor among buyers migrating out of SUVs as gas prices rose.

Chrysler hoped to retain these buyers with the introduction of the smaller, car-based Compass and Patriot crossovers but they have fared poorly against strong competition from vehicles including the Chevrolet Equinox, Ford Escape, Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4.

The Patriot sold 31,400 units in 2009, down almost 44 percent while Compass only had 11,700 sales, down 54 percent.

Chrysler thinks redesigning them may be the answer before both are slated for elimination.
If both redesigns prove popular, Manley doesn't rule out two versions again in the future.

Meyers sees the strategy as doomed to failure and yet another example of a corporate parent trying to kill Jeep. But he fully expects the brand to enjoy its 70th anniversary next year.

"No matter what happens to Chrysler, Jeep will continue to live," he said. "Jeep is not trying to kill these companies, they keep trying to kill Jeep."

http://www.detnews.com/article/20100...316/1148/rss25
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Old 01-30-2010, 09:21 AM   #2
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I think the Patriot and the Compass have proven the car based approach isn't working.
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Old 01-30-2010, 10:21 AM   #3
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The failure to bring the Diesel Wrangler proves the Jeep is ****ing a headless monster.
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Old 01-30-2010, 07:06 PM   #4
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Jeep is going to be out dropped or Chrysler is going to go bankrupt in less than five years. I do not think they could of picked a worse way to push Jeep. Its going to turn into another bland no difference automaker by losing the only think going for it, utility. Jeep is a very nice niche brand just like Subaru, you are going to take away from the whole brand to make it appeal to every one. They should not be trying to make a Jeep for ever one.
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Old 01-30-2010, 10:26 PM   #5
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The reason the more off-road versions do better is that 90% of the people who buy jeeps are too stupid to realize that they don't ever drive off road and are willing to put up with the shortcomings of driving such vehicles on the road. So that they will have the capability if they so choose to drive off the road for some reason.




I think my english is getting worse with age. I'm not even going to try to make that correct because I think it gets the point across.
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Old 01-30-2010, 10:48 PM   #6
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I think the Patriot and the Compass have proven the car based approach isn't working.
I think it has more to do with the fact that they are both huge piles of crap.
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Old 01-31-2010, 04:03 PM   #7
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I wouldnt say their a pile of crap. Having driven them I found that they are pretty comfy and for everyday driving they hold up really well. For the price that you pay you get a pretty decent product. I beleive that they are a dying breed due to the fact that now a days their is huge competition for small size suv's and I just dont think that right now they can compete with the likes of honda and toyota. Also there is no point of having the compass and the patriot. They are practically the same vehcile. Throw in the caliber in there as well, its just a little less roomy.
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Old 02-01-2010, 09:43 AM   #8
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The Jeep lineup should consist of the Grand Cherokee, Cherokee, Wrangler, Scrambler, and maybe the Commander.
They should absolutely stay away from crossovers until they can come up with something that can actually hold its own offroad.
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Old 02-01-2010, 12:35 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Sideshowbob View Post
The failure to bring the Diesel Wrangler proves the Jeep is ****ing a headless monster.
Totally agree. It's like the 25$ an hour assembly line workers got promoted to chief executive in one fail swoop.
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Old 02-02-2010, 11:04 AM   #10
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Jeep is doomed to death if Chrysler/ Fiat doesn't do something. It's not rocket science, just basic business math. When you lose over 50% of your sales in a decade, that's a trend that pretty much guarantees you're not going to make it. Current gas prices won't help and I doubt gas prices will be much better in the future. They are far from profitable now at 230k annual unit sales and I doubt Jeep could ever be profitable below 200k unit sales.

The Compass and Patriots were turds. They were no where near competitive in class. From the article, it seems they expect the CUVs to do better outside of the US, but they still have to compete against the CRV and Rav 4.

For all you Jeep diesel lovers, you've got no one but yourself to blame. If you wanted a Jeep diesel, you should have bought one when they were available. Neither model did well and I doubt Jeep is in much of a hurry to go down that road again.
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Old 02-02-2010, 11:29 AM   #11
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For all you Jeep diesel lovers, you've got no one but yourself to blame. If you wanted a Jeep diesel, you should have bought one when they were available. Neither model did well and I doubt Jeep is in much of a hurry to go down that road again.
When was this genius?
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Old 02-02-2010, 11:34 AM   #12
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When was this genius?
Well, over the last 4-5 years when you could get a Liberty CRD diesel and a Grand Cherokee CRD diesel.
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Old 02-02-2010, 11:35 AM   #13
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For all you Jeep diesel lovers, you've got no one but yourself to blame. If you wanted a Jeep diesel, you should have bought one when they were available. Neither model did well and I doubt Jeep is in much of a hurry to go down that road again.
Nobody in America asked for a liberty Diesel. Ever.
People wanted a diesel in the Grand Cherokee WJ, instead we got one in the one GC that didn't have a solid front axle.
People have wanted a diesel in the Wangler since the TJ came around in '97. 13 years later and we're still waiting.

The Chrysler heads are a bunch of dumb bastards especially when it comes to running Jeep.
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Old 02-02-2010, 11:52 AM   #14
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if they were to make the new 4 door wrangler availible in a deisel I would seriously debate on trading in my luxury daily driver thats is an 06 denali for one. The 6 cyl gasoline Wranger wont tow my 10 second sti, and im not sure how it would tow my atv's on my 16 foot trailer.
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Old 02-02-2010, 11:54 AM   #15
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When was this genius?
You shouldn't be so quick to show your ignorance.
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Old 02-02-2010, 11:59 AM   #16
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Nobody in America asked for a liberty Diesel. Ever.
People wanted a diesel in the Grand Cherokee WJ, instead we got one in the one GC that didn't have a solid front axle.
People have wanted a diesel in the Wangler since the TJ came around in '97. 13 years later and we're still waiting.

The Chrysler heads are a bunch of dumb bastards especially when it comes to running Jeep.
I'm not sure the guys running Jeep are the dumb bastards. I'd suggest it's the people on here that honestly believe the few thousand diesel Wranglers Jeep would sell each year would have any impact on Jeep's survival.
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Old 02-02-2010, 01:03 PM   #17
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Well, over the last 4-5 years when you could get a Liberty CRD diesel and a Grand Cherokee CRD diesel.
Yeah, I meant a jeep someone wants.
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Old 02-02-2010, 01:12 PM   #18
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Yeah, I meant a jeep someone wants.
Hey I wouldn't buy either...though I would reconsider if they brought back the XJ and threw in a small turbo diesel, put in the Wrangler front and rear locking axles. Yes please.
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Old 02-02-2010, 02:42 PM   #19
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I'm not sure the guys running Jeep are the dumb bastards. I'd suggest it's the people on here that honestly believe the few thousand diesel Wranglers Jeep would sell each year would have any impact on Jeep's survival.
I agree. Really im lost when it comes to this whole subject. It might be worth while for chrysler to just die off the jeep brand maybe keep the off-roaders happy with some dodge/jeep cross. There is just to much competition and I dont think that jeep is in the right place right now to take sales from toyota. Seeing toyotas new commercial for the 4runner just shows their off road experience and heritage something I beleive jeep has lost.
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Old 02-02-2010, 02:59 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by robertrinaustin View Post
I'm not sure the guys running Jeep are the dumb bastards. I'd suggest it's the people on here that honestly believe the few thousand diesel Wranglers Jeep would sell each year would have any impact on Jeep's survival.
Quote:
Originally Posted by leafs fan View Post
I agree. Really im lost when it comes to this whole subject. It might be worth while for chrysler to just die off the jeep brand maybe keep the off-roaders happy with some dodge/jeep cross. There is just to much competition and I dont think that jeep is in the right place right now to take sales from toyota. Seeing toyotas new commercial for the 4runner just shows their off road experience and heritage something I beleive jeep has lost.
You guys are basically just making my point without knowing it.
The Wrangler sells exceptionally well and a diesel would bring even more people over. Plus Wranglers are cheap to produce compared to a lot of vehicles since they lack a lot of comforts.
The problem Jeep has is money being wasted on stupid **** like the Compass and Patriot.
No, Jeep will never sell 1million vehicles in a year, but they can make a good profit from a few purpose built SUVs like the wrangler, cherokee, and grand.
The guys running Jeep are deffinitely the dumb bastards.
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Old 02-02-2010, 10:22 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by leafs fan View Post
I agree. Really im lost when it comes to this whole subject. It might be worth while for chrysler to just die off the jeep brand maybe keep the off-roaders happy with some dodge/jeep cross. There is just to much competition and I dont think that jeep is in the right place right now to take sales from toyota. Seeing toyotas new commercial for the 4runner just shows their off road experience and heritage something I beleive jeep has lost.
Thank the high being that someone else understands. The new pentastar v6 is going to be amazing when it finally rests in the bay of the wrangler. No, it will not get diesel mileage, but it will have better than diesel power. 280 HP and 260 FT-LB is nothing to smirk at. It's probably the most powerful engine to ever grace the bay of a wrangler/cj.

As for the new commercials, they are horrible. "I Live, I Ride, I Am Jeep" is just so... . Nothing else can describe it.


vs.


Subaru understands.

What they need to show is what a jeep can do. See (its the second vehicle):

Just look at that jump!

See this too:
They need to show them out racing, conquering rocks, mud, dirt, king kong - whatever they can throw at it.

I personally think that Jeep needs to get involved in Off Road Motorsports - JeepSpeed, rally, that kind of thing. I can only hope. But it is what they need.

Last edited by Sokkarr; 02-02-2010 at 10:29 PM.
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Old 02-02-2010, 11:06 PM   #22
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The second vehicle in the third video was a Ford Bronco, not a Jeep. FYI.
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Old 02-02-2010, 11:23 PM   #23
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This should be the Jeep Lineup:

Wrangler in all its glory

The new Cherokee

and...

The Fiat Panda Cross restyled to fit the Jeep look:






Last edited by darknightohio; 02-02-2010 at 11:39 PM.
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Old 02-03-2010, 12:18 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by justincredible View Post
The second vehicle in the third video was a Ford Bronco, not a Jeep. FYI.
No, its a 2D Jeep Cherokee.

See

and another

http://www.jpmagazine.com/featuredve.../photo_03.html

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Old 02-03-2010, 10:46 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by darknightohio View Post
This should be the Jeep Lineup:

Wrangler in all its glory

The new Cherokee

and...

The Fiat Panda Cross restyled to fit the Jeep look:





That is cool and I agree. New line-up would be their best bet.

These are only 2 examples I found by searching and neither were the ad's I were refering to. Much better then women driving a jeep after a day at the spa.


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