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CommanderClock Ticking on Commander?
Posted by mike on 2007/1/20 22:29:47 (3479) reads

The Detroit News is reporting that Chrysler Group is considering discontinuing the Jeep Commander after the 2009 model year:

The future of the hulking Jeep Commander SUV introduced a little over a year ago looks bleak.

Auto analysts and other industry officials say the Commander, a boxy three-row SUV built at Chrysler's Jefferson North Assembly Plant in Detroit, is likely to be discontinued after the 2009 model-year.

"We removed the Commander from our forecast" after the 2009 model year, said Jeff Schuster, forecasting analyst with California-based J.D. Power and Associates. J.D. Power and other auto forecasting firms gather information from suppliers and other industry sources privy to automakers' future production plans.

There has been on-and-off chatter about this since the initial launch of the Commander. We've often wondered how much Grand Cherokee sales have been affected by the Commander.

Check out the entire article.

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Poster Thread
carter
Posted: 2007/1/23 23:14  Updated: 2007/1/23 23:14
Not too shy to talk
Joined: 2005/7/27
From: Houston
Posts: 29
 Re: Clock Ticking on Commander?
I think that if they really think they can steer a potential Commander buying customer to a Chrysler or Dodge whatever, then they don't understand there own customer base. I'd like to think that they wouldn't be so ignorant, but the compass tells me they are. Dropping the inline six (4.0) is another example. They threw away a part of their product that has developed a devoted and vocal following like it was worthless.

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Josephus
Posted: 2007/1/23 19:39  Updated: 2007/1/23 19:39
Home away from home
Joined: 2005/7/18
From: Pennsylvania
Posts: 265
 Re: Clock Ticking on Commander?
I think that once they start offering the Commander with the CRD, than the "Towing" crowd will recognize it as an alternative to the Cummins, Duramax, PowerStroke.
Personally, I think there should be better entry/egress and space in the 3rd row. It's just aweful, I can't even fit my size 10 EEE in the space between the seat and door frame. Heck, my first generation Durango is better in that respect.

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jeffab
Posted: 2007/1/23 15:51  Updated: 2007/1/23 15:51
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Joined: 2006/8/23
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Posts: 3
 Re: Clock Ticking on Commander?
While visiting the Jeep display at NAIAS last week, I had a conversation with the DCX rep at the desk (not the model demo'ing the vehicles). He stated that the Commander will be discontinued so that potential customers can be steered towards the Aspen. He also grudgingly acknowledged that the Compass did not meet Jeep's expectations and would likely not have a significant production life. (There wasn't even an accessible Compass on the display floor!)
I briefly got on my soapbox about what a poor decision it was by DCX not to produce the Gladiator, and his response was that the company wanted to build a customer base for the new Wrangler and Patriot before adding yet another vehicle to the lineup, but that we should expect to see a Jeep pickup in the next few years.
</grainofsalt>

Poster Thread
jeepxk
Posted: 2007/1/23 16:22  Updated: 2007/1/23 16:22
Just can't stay away
Joined: 2005/7/13
From: Peoria
Posts: 150
 Re: Clock Ticking on Commander?
Sorry but I don't buy all of that. Don't get me wrong I believe what your saying he said but this is was just speculation by one DC employee. I bet if you ask 10 different people you would get 10 different thoughts and opionions. They will keep selling the Commander at least through the end of this model cycle which should be 2009-2010. They have lots of tooling cost to pay for and the Commander still is selling well despite what some are saying.
On the other hand, I could see the Compass being dropped in a couple of years if they can't sell them but I wouldn't say that will be the case either. If those Compass dosen't sell they will just make more Partiots and Caliber's.
Even when they know a car is a flop after the first year they can't just drop it that quick. Look at the Aztek and Edsel, I think they knew pretty quick that the public was not responding to those models but they continued to make them for quite some time even though they weren't selling well.

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jason
Posted: 2007/1/23 10:09  Updated: 2007/1/23 10:09
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From: glendale,az
Posts: 93
 Re: Clock Ticking on Commander?
Makes sense, I think the commander has taken away potential G/C sales. Its a great vehicle, the biggest complaint is lack of space. It would make sense to build a bigger commander with a crd option that would get reasonable fuel economy. I talked to a dcx product tester that had a crd commander and said they were getting 28MPG's!!

Jason

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AKjeep
Posted: 2007/1/22 16:09  Updated: 2007/1/22 16:09
Not too shy to talk
Joined: 2006/10/25
From: Anchorage, Alaska
Posts: 37
 Re: Clock Ticking on Commander?
I think that the GC getting a face lift and the Commander getting discontinued would almost make sense with Chrysler's current product planning. I guess if I were to connect the dots here, I'm going to have to say that the next generation/facelift of the GC will look alot like the Trailhawk concepts front end. When I saw the concept I thought to my self that it kind of seems like a compromise between the Commanders styling and the GC styling. Did anybody else get that feeling too?

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jeepxk
Posted: 2007/1/22 10:41  Updated: 2007/1/22 10:41
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From: Peoria
Posts: 150
 Re: Clock Ticking on Commander?
The Grand Cherokee seems to run in about 6 year periods for each model. Since the current WK came out in 05 it would be due for a make over or whatever in 2010. Since the Commander is basically the same vehicle off the same line it would only make sense that the Commander is replaced or updated at that time also. I am sure with the current state of SUV's that the next gen WK/XK will be well thought out. I seem to think that the next GC or Commander or both could share a platform with the Durango/Aspen. Not sure if I like that but it makes sense. Liberty/Nitro,
Compass/Patriot/Caliber are already examples of it.

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RUBICON
Posted: 2007/1/22 8:36  Updated: 2007/1/22 8:36
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Posts: 377
 Re: Clock Ticking on Commander?
I wouldn't put stock into any rumors of this magnitude until we get closer to 2009. I mean think of all the rumors we have heard... of the Gladiator, of the death of the 2-door Wrangler, etc. A lot of them are unfounded. Who cares what J.D. says about removing it from their forecasts? It isn't them who decides to build it. UAW contracts will be renogotiated a bunch of times before 2009 comes along.

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hal2814
Posted: 2007/1/22 8:13  Updated: 2007/1/22 8:13
Quite a regular
Joined: 2006/5/23
From:
Posts: 49
 Re: Clock Ticking on Commander?
I would hate to see the Commander go. For the first time in my life I felt like somebody actually made a vehicle just for me. It's not too big. It's not too small. There are 3 rows of seating if you need them. It can tow a decent amount. It's boxy. It has a real dashboard (man, I've missed those). The sunroof system is great. I just hope if they axe it, they keep parts available for a LONG time.

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myhotwheels22981
Posted: 2007/1/21 16:25  Updated: 2007/1/21 16:25
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Joined: 2002/3/22
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Posts: 247
 Re: Clock Ticking on Commander?
I would like to think that people are buying the Commander for function and reliability, not looks.

Since I do most of the driving, I haven't had the chance to risde in the rear seat, but I have been told it's 'okay' but they wouldn't want to take an extended trip in it. I agree, it's a kiddie seat and/or best for picking up friends for a short jaunt.

If the next generation Cherokee is going to be built alongside the Durango, then yes, definitely the Cherokee can have a third row.

As a matter of fact, I was looking at my Hot Wheels/Matchbox cars, and was reminded that the Jeep Rescue concept was built on the RAM 2500 chassis, similar to the Durango...So in effect, if the Next-gen Cherokee were upsized, you could have in effect, an 8 seat Rescue. I wouldn't care if they call it a Commander, a Gladiator, a Cherokee, a Jeepster, or whatever, the fact is that the Commander was thoroughly market researched,and it is a great vehicle, and, in my opinion, better that the Cherokee

I personally would like to see the Cherokee look and function more like the Trailhawk Concept.

Poster Thread
erik
Posted: 2007/1/21 7:32  Updated: 2007/1/21 7:32
Not too shy to talk
Joined: 2005/12/28
From: Williamsport, PA
Posts: 37
 Re: Clock Ticking on Commander?
First, those that believe the Commander affected Grand Cherokee sales just need to look at the numbers.....13K more vehicles than when the Grand Cherokee was alone. Remember, the Grand Cherokee and Commander are built at the same plant using flex, so you count the sales numbers together.

(The same goes for the Compass, which many people hate. It doesn't matter how many they sell because they can adjust Caliber/Compass/Patriot production of each model from 0 to 100%. Hence, selling 10,000 Compasses per year is several weeks more production time in the Belvidere plant than would have been needed if the Compass did not exist.)

Second, with the Liberty moving up in size, the Grand Cherokee will probably get a 3rd row and be more like the current Commander.

Third, if rumors are true that the next generation Durango and Grand Cherokee will be built together in a flex plant, they could always add a larger, Commander-sized vehicle to the lineup if the engineering and market allows.

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DMoore
Posted: 2007/1/21 0:33  Updated: 2007/1/21 0:33
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Joined: 2006/10/10
From: NC
Posts: 10
 Re: Clock Ticking on Commander?
I think killing the Commander would be a big mistake. The problem is not with the vehicle itself. I think most people like it's looks. The main problem is that the Commander is actually too small. Jeep needs to get the vehicle set up so that the 3rd row seats are actually usable by adults. For all practical purposes you have the Commander competing directly against the Grand Cherokee due to the fact that they are so close in size. When talk of the Commander came out I really thought that it would take a genuine stab at the likes of the Tahoe and Expedition. Instead, I think people have bought it based on it's looks rather than it's usable interior space. I know Jeep tried to keep the size down due to off road testing and rating but I really don't think that is what people were really looking for. If most are like me, they were looking for a larger SUV that would actually have a very good 4X4 system and that could actually survive in mild to moderate off road outtings. Much like the niche that the Grand Wagoneer filled. Don't kill it. We still want it. Just get it right.

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myhotwheels22981
Posted: 2007/1/21 0:27  Updated: 2007/1/21 0:27
Home away from home
Joined: 2002/3/22
From:
Posts: 247
 Re: Clock Ticking on Commander?
I hope it's not true, because we love our Commander, although this aricle is only speculation, and it has no official comment from JEEP.

The fact is that the Commander is sized just right, and mabye a Durango or Tahoe is just TOO big. My wife wouldn't have wanted anything bigger, and I insisted on a Jeep for durability, based on my 1997 Wrangler--163,000+ miles and counting. So I'm sure the Commander works for lots of others besides myself

Today, Regular unleaded is only $2.09 a gallon, so mabye this article is premature.

Jeep really did their homework when designing the Commander, and it shows when you drive it for extended periods, and in the snow.

We haven't had the opportunity to take it off road yet, but it feels solid and adds a degree of confidence when driving it.

Poster Thread
xjken99
Posted: 2007/1/21 16:58  Updated: 2007/1/21 16:58
Quite a regular
Joined: 2005/9/14
From:
Posts: 58
 Re: Clock Ticking on Commander?
IMO I would prefer the Commander over the Grand if I was shopping for one or the other. If Jeep is considering dropping a model I would hope it would be the Compass, since the Compass and the Patriot are even closer than the Grand and the Commander.

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highdesert
Posted: 2007/1/22 13:57  Updated: 2007/1/22 13:57
Not too shy to talk
Joined: 2006/1/9
From:
Posts: 34
 Re: Clock Ticking on Commander?
If one references the Jeep engineers' dialogue on Allpar, which argues that Jeeps were/are intended to be simple, small vehicles that make efficient use of space, then it begins to make sense that DC would discontinue the Commander and perhaps begin to again seek its roots. IMHO the Patriot is consistent with Jeep's root philosophy and returns to the original Cherokee philosophy of basic transportation for rural living; for example, Patriot is available with the basics of manual tranny and even rollup windows. The Grand serves its purpose as the Jeep-Lexus for those that need their automatic everythings in a still relatively compact vehicle. And, with the volatility of fuel prices, it makes less sense to invest in heavy gas users that will be sitting on lots when fuel prices again rise.

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jeepxk
Posted: 2007/1/22 15:04  Updated: 2007/1/22 15:04
Just can't stay away
Joined: 2005/7/13
From: Peoria
Posts: 150
 Re: Clock Ticking on Commander?
Everyone keeps forgeting the Grand and Commander are basically the SAME Jeep! They share almost everything except the body panels. The Commander is not doing bad and yes it has stole some sales from the Grand Cherokee. If anything they should look at the future of the Grand Cherokee if it cannot compete against it's boxier brother. I would say the Grand Cherokee will need to prove itself in the coming years. Midsize SUV's are at risk of becoming extinct anyway. GM has said they may end production of the Trailblazer by the end of the decade being replaced by a "crossover" and Ford may do the same with the Explorer. If you have a choice between the Commander and Grand Cherokee the Commander offers more as it seats seven. I know not very well but it has worked great for us hauling our kids friends around town. The gas milage is almost the exact same also. The Commander and Grand are priced the same except the Commander has cooler features such at the 2 skylights and the traditional Jeep styling.
Can you tell I like my Commander?

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jeepxk
Posted: 2007/1/22 15:06  Updated: 2007/1/22 15:06
Just can't stay away
Joined: 2005/7/13
From: Peoria
Posts: 150
 Re: Clock Ticking on Commander?
Where did the Grand Wagoneer fit into Jeeps being small thing? They sold for almost 30 years and did quite well. If you go back to only small Jeeps you might as well say goodbye to Jeep because it they would not sell enough to keep them in business.

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hal2814
Posted: 2007/1/22 15:42  Updated: 2007/1/22 15:42
Quite a regular
Joined: 2006/5/23
From:
Posts: 49
 Re: Clock Ticking on Commander?
Forget the Wagoneer. What about the Gladiator and it's folloup, the Honcho? The last Honcho I saw in person was converted for use as a tow truck! That's hardly small. The Gladiator/Honco combo was about a 25 year span of big boxy Jeepness. And if I'm not mistaken, releasing a new Gladiator ranks up there with providing a diesel option in the eyes of the Jeepers. I sincerely hope the engineers congergating at Allpar aren't falling into the CJ is the only Jeep trap. Not every successful Jeep had a sub-100" wheelbase and a 7 slot grill.
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