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CommanderCommander Doing a Great Job?
Posted by mike on 2007/8/20 16:13:46 (3137) reads

DetNews.com has an article that worries me. A lot. Seems that new Chrysler LLC CEO Bob Nardelli feels that the Jeep Commander is doing just fine. A "great job" as a matter of fact.

"The Jeep Commander is doing a great job," Nardelli told reporters at an event marking the 10th anniversary of Chrysler's Prowler roadster.

Hmm. Commander sales fell 18.7 percent last month compared with a year ago, demand is off 15.5 percent in 2007 and word is it could be on the chopping block in 2009.

Since it was Nardelli's first week on the job, Business Insider will give the former Home Depot Inc. executive a pass. Heck, we'll even make up an excuse for the slip of the tongue: Perhaps an enthused Nardelli read Chrysler's monthly sales chart upside down.

We're not going to panic. We're not going to panic. We're not going to panic. (repeat until calm)

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Poster Thread
77chief
Posted: 2007/8/21 22:23  Updated: 2007/8/21 22:23
Just popping in
Joined: 2007/8/21
From:
Posts: 17
 Re: Commander Doing a Great Job?
well a xj cherokee on steroids is called a full size cherokee (74-83) and no you dont see many jeepsters on the trail you see jeepster commandos and their main competition was the scout and the bronco. and they where definitley advertised for their off road ability.

what jeep needs to do is make a full size jeep and have a pickup version of it. but i cant see the commander staying around for too much longer.

Poster Thread
01TJ
Posted: 2007/8/21 12:23  Updated: 2007/8/21 12:23
Just can't stay away
Joined: 2006/8/25
From:
Posts: 109
 Re: Commander Doing a Great Job?
I bought a 2006 Commander for my wife last year and see a lot of them around here in the Nashville/Franklin area. So far it has been very dependable needing only oil changes and tore rotation. We liked the fact that they were smaller than a Tahoe, etc. It actuall fits in our garage!

What is not to like? Like another poster said, they are Cherokees on steroids + V8 options. The V6 us gutless and should not even be offered, especially in the 4x4 models. They will never be hard core trail rigs but that was not what they were designed for. BTW, the Jeepster was never designed for off road use but i see a few of those on the trail. Maybe in 20 years we'll see Commanders on the trail converted for trail use (solid axle in the front)

All V8 powered SUV sales are down, this does not mean the Commander is doing bad in sales. This is across the board. Sad fact is if you want a 7 passenger vehicle that is not a sardine can, is needs to be powered by a V8.

Everyone complains about the interior room and large pillars but the pillars are large due to government crash requirements. Something has to give. Any 7 passenger vehicles are going to be hard to see out the back, especially with people sitting back there.

Poster Thread
Jeepin
Posted: 2007/8/21 9:33  Updated: 2007/8/21 9:33
Home away from home
Joined: 2005/11/28
From: TX
Posts: 190
 Re: Commander Doing a Great Job?
Personally I really like the styling of the Commander, much better than the current Grand Cherokee in fact. It just looks more, "Jeep".

IMHO the biggest issue was they made it too small. At the very least it should have been built off the Durango platform to start with. I can't tell you how many emails I got from people before the Commander debuted, asking how big it was going to be, how much it could tow, etc. A LOT of people were expecting a full-size SUV. I even had one guy say he was holding off buying an H2 for his business as a promo vehicle until the Commander came out (given the XK's small stature I figure he went with the H2).

The overall vehicle size is somewhat adequate for a 7-seater, but the interior is very cramped relative to the exterior size. Unfortunately that's a problem for nearly all vehicles now, SUVs in particular -- huge, thick pillars and thick interior body panels. With the 3rd bench upright, you can barely see out the back window, at all, and cargo space is next to nothing. Visibility and space improves with the bench folded, but it's still not that much.

IMHO the fact that the JK Unlimited is the biggest Jeep that Jeep currently produces, with more cargo room than either the Grand Cherokee or the Commander, speaks volumes about how incorrectly Jeep sized their other SUVs, particularly the 7-seat Commander.

The Commander really should have been Jeep's competition for the Tahoe and Expedition, not the TrailBlazer and Explorer.

Poster Thread
MarkH
Posted: 2007/8/21 8:50  Updated: 2007/8/21 9:28
Home away from home
Joined: 2005/7/20
From: The Great White North
Posts: 494
 Re: Commander Doing a Great Job?
I hesitated to weigh in on this... but I think I can speak to some of those who are baffled as to why many of the Jeep faithful dislike the Commander... at least from my POV...

First of all, the exterior is great. It's basically an XJ on steroids. That works. Bold move to make a retro Jeep XJ!

The drawbacks are several:
1) A Jeep 7-seater seems to be aimed at such a narrow segment. If you've seen the interior with the 7 seats in person... it looks like there's just enough room for 5 adults, 2 midgets and a briefcase... So there's a feeling of a basic lack of "function" when you look at the interior, i.e., where's the cargo capacity & what's this thing really good for?! Now, of course, if you remove the 2 "jump seats" in the back, you have ample room for 5 and now have some luggage capacity... But now it seems to merely "equal" the function of an XJ, but at double the price!

2) The price. Strike 2! The $4000-4500 rebates make it a bit less painful.

3) The 3.7L engine doesn't have enough umphhh for the monster-XJ, and unfortunately that's the only one most people can afford.

4) The HEMI is awesome, but neither it nor the 3.7L are available with a manual tranny... which would have been a nice option on both...

So, it boils down to being a larger, much more expensive version of an XJ, with seemingly LESS function. They would have been better off building something along the lines of a retro XJ, with about the same dimensions & price range.

Oh, wait, they finally did come full circle! The new '08 Liberty!! But is it too late?

Does the Liberty name & bug-eyed heritage taint what would otherwise have been a BIG HIT if it were named the new Cherokee? (Well, it IS called that in some overseas markets...) Time will tell.

Who's running the marketing & name plates for this iconic brand anyway? Is it too late to rename the '08 Liberty the all new '08 Cherokee?

If they offer a "less optioned" version of the Commander with a stout 5/6-speed manual --with the Hemi-- and price it in the low-mid 30's, I'd be in one now.

Unfortunately, I think it's soon to be doomed...

Poster Thread
myhotwheels22981
Posted: 2007/8/20 22:40  Updated: 2007/8/20 22:40
Home away from home
Joined: 2002/3/22
From:
Posts: 247
 Re: Commander Doing a Great Job?
The Commander is a great vehicle, it is reliable, rugged, and was based strongly on market research, which was actually viable research...

If anything, the Commander should continue on its own, and let the Cherokee become the Trailhawk, and then let the Durnago/Aspen get redesigned on their own.

Poster Thread
CanJeepYJ
Posted: 2007/8/20 19:52  Updated: 2007/8/20 19:52
Just can't stay away
Joined: 2005/7/18
From: Halifax, Nova Scotia
Posts: 90
 Re: Commander Doing a Great Job?
Why does everyone pic on the Commander???

The Commander has outsold the "other Chrysler full size SUV" the Durango for many many months.

Hell, even last month the Commander outsold the combined sales of the Durango AND the Aspen.

But people continue to pick on the commander....why?

Poster Thread
trevorj
Posted: 2007/8/20 18:07  Updated: 2007/8/20 18:07
Just can't stay away
Joined: 2006/6/30
From: Kelowna, BC
Posts: 124
 Re: Commander Doing a Great Job?
I'm with you on that one. I don't get the hate for the Commander. I consider myself a "true Jeeper" whatever that is. I'm on my 4th one. YJ, XJ, ZJ, LJ and I've built 3/4 of those for the trail. I'm not offended by the Commander being 99% for the street. I think its a beautiful rig. If i were in the market for a tow-rig, I wouldn't give it a second thought. There'd be a Commander in my driveway tomorrow. It's a great lookin' Jeep.

Go ahead. Make fun of me. Flame me. Throw Compasses at me, whatever you choose, I still like that shoebox on wheels.

Poster Thread
bkcurtis
Posted: 2007/8/20 18:12  Updated: 2007/8/20 18:12
Home away from home
Joined: 2005/10/8
From: NW Indiana, USA
Posts: 154
 Re: Commander Doing a Great Job?
I would love to have a Commander as our "vacation vehicle". I'd love to see it towing my XJ for fun times in the moutains of Colorado.

Poster Thread
RUBICON
Posted: 2007/8/20 17:37  Updated: 2007/8/20 17:37
Home away from home
Joined: 2005/7/13
From:
Posts: 377
 Re: Commander Doing a Great Job?
Why does this worry you? Every SUV (except the freak of nature Wrangler), no matter who the manufacturer is has seen their sales numbers fall. People are like Lemmings that follow the media wherever they go.

The Commander is doing fine for now. It will live on until it is replaced with a full-size SUV (possibly still wearing the Commander name) based on the next-generation Durango architecture.

Check out how many folks are using their Commanders for off-roading... more than you would think.
.

Poster Thread
mike
Posted: 2007/8/20 19:40  Updated: 2007/8/20 19:40
Webmaster
Joined: 2000/4/13
From:
Posts: 42
 Re: Commander Doing a Great Job?
The thing that worries me is that by his statement, Mr. Nardelli seems a bit out-of-touch.

I actually like the Commander - if I was in the market for a 7-seater, it would be at the top of my list.
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