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CommanderNewsweek Suggests Compass, Liberty, and Commander Destined to be Axed
Posted by mike on 2007/9/13 13:02:00 (3568) reads

The weekly news magazine Newsweek is running an article where they suggest that the Jeep Compass, Liberty, and Commander are all on the chopping block as Chrysler LLC moves forward in an effort to prune their offerings.

The article stems from a recent speech that new Chrysler CEO Bob Nardelli gave where he indicated that Chrysler has to move on from having emotional attachments to the vehicles in its lineup. Translation: if it's not selling, it's not staying.

So Nardelli's suggestion that he might euthanize brands and models at Chrysler got the assembled auto writers revved up. When he descended from the stage, he was mobbed in a scene that reminded me of the rushing reporters knocking over the phone booths in the movie "Airplane." Does Chrysler have too many SUVs? What brands are you going to kill? Nardelli backtracked—slightly. No, he's not doing away with the Dodge, Jeep or Chrysler brands. But it's time to get Darwinian about what's sitting on showroom floors. "We have to look very hard at some of the products within those brands," he told the throng of jostling journalists, "and make some tough choices."

The 3 Jeep vehicles were among 9 Chrysler vehicles that Newsweek feels might be axed in the near future. While I agree with the possibility of the Compass and the Commander not having a rosy future, I think the Liberty is a little more of a long shot.

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Renegade
Posted: 2007/9/16 13:15  Updated: 2007/9/16 21:36
Just can't stay away
Joined: 2005/8/11
From: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 80
 Re: Newsweek Suggests Compass, Liberty, and Commander Des...
"...Chrysler has to move on from having emotional attachments to the vehicles in its lineup. Translation: if it's not selling, it's not staying."


Just a thought, but given this statement in the context of the Commander outselling the Durango, it's entirely possible that Bob Nardelli intends to keep the Commander and drop another vehicle that's not selling well. Like he said... no emotional attachments; just cold, hard sales figures.

Not to say that the Durango would go, but if the Commander is selling well (even if it's lower than their desired mark) they'd do well to keep it. Axing the Commander doesn't automatically mean that those sales will transfer to the Durango's numbers.

I think the Aspen will definitely be dropped though. Not soon enough for me; I don't know why would anyone want a Durango with such an ugly hood on it anyway...

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01TJ
Posted: 2007/9/13 17:26  Updated: 2007/9/13 17:26
Just can't stay away
Joined: 2006/8/25
From:
Posts: 109
 Re: Newsweek Suggests Compass, Liberty, and Commander Des...
It suggested once that maybe Jeep would drop the Commander and now this rumor shows up all over the Internet. Everything posted here speculation until someone from Chrysler actually makes an official statement. To Kill the Commander would leave a gaping 7 seater hole in the Jeep lineup, I don't see this happening.

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Jeepin
Posted: 2007/9/14 10:18  Updated: 2007/9/14 10:18
Home away from home
Joined: 2005/11/28
From: TX
Posts: 190
 Re: Newsweek Suggests Compass, Liberty, and Commander Des...
The Commander is over at the end of the [5-year] product cycle. MY2010 will be the last year for the Commander as a separate vehicle.

However, since even the Rav-freakin-4 is a 7-seater SUV now (hard to believe, but it's true), I imagine that Jeep will turn the next-gen GC into a 7-seater when they drop the Commander.

Now, this is all still 2 years away so lots could still change, but Jeep is currently not planning a next-gen Commander.

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sylvanis
Posted: 2007/9/23 12:01  Updated: 2007/9/23 12:01
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Joined: 2006/1/26
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Posts: 116
 Re: Newsweek Suggests Compass, Liberty, and Commander Des...
7 uncomfortable passenger seating. It's the same platform as the Grand Cherokee...jsut offer the 3rd row in the Grand.

Oh yeah, pake the 3rd row rear facing, like in the old station wagons...that would be awesome.

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Jeepin
Posted: 2007/9/13 15:52  Updated: 2007/9/14 10:20
Home away from home
Joined: 2005/11/28
From: TX
Posts: 190
 Re: Newsweek Suggests Compass, Liberty, and Commander Des...
Chryco is currently working on the next gen Durnago/Grand Cherokee/Chyrsler SUV, it's not on the Dakota platforum, unless they make the Dakota not a BOF truck (oops, I've said too much already, hee-hee). The Aspen name will probably go buh-bye.

Commander is gone after ... 2010.

The Pacifica is gone soon too.

Now for my personal conjecturing... I don't see the Liberty (what the rest of the world knows as the Cherokee) going away anytime soon. The 2008's are due out soon, so it's got at least another 5 years of life. Jeep needs a midsize SUV though. I don't think the smaller crossover Patriot would fit the mark. But who knows what the market will look like 5 years from now...

Compass needs to go if for not other reason than branding strategy. Keep the Patriot though, but try to raise the suspension just a little bit, at least to the height of things like the Rav4, CRV, and Escape. Proportionally, right now the Patriot looks lowered.

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RUBICON
Posted: 2007/9/13 14:43  Updated: 2007/9/13 14:43
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 Re: Newsweek Suggests Compass, Liberty, and Commander Des...
THIS IS NOT AN OFFICIAL WORD!!!

This is only from some analysts unresearching mind.

The Durango sales are suffering more than the Commander. As of September 01, 2007 the sales to date:

Aspen: 18,593 (3,599 In August)
Durango: 34,661 (3,284 In August)
Commander: 45,615 (5,890 In August... Third In The Jeep Lineup, Only Behind The Wrangler And Grand Cherokee)

The Commander was originally (at the time when SUVs were still selling like hotcakes) targeted to sell 70,000 units/year. At the current rate, it will come less than 2,000 units shy of that by the end of the year.

The Liberty has just been redesigned. The Liberty and the Patriot are not similarly sized. The new Liberty is closer to the Grand Cherokee. By the way, the Compass is selling well (albeit being the girly Jeep thats barely a Jeep). If it is axed from the lineup then it is merely a branding strategy.

More likely to happen... is that Dodge exits the SUV market to focus on pickups, crossovers, and performance cars; Chrysler focuses on luxury sedans and minivans, Jeep focuses on SUVs. The Grand Cherokee is redesigned (and possibly renamed) to a vehicle bearing many of the agressive, sporty front-end cues found on the Trailhawk concept. The Commander grows a little bit in size and gains -- through the existing Chrysler / Mercedes powertrain technology agreement -- the diesel hybrid technology that was just unveiled on the Mercedes S-Class at Frankfurt. The Liberty stays as it is provided the new model continues to sell well. The Wrangler introduces new engine options to keep things fresh. The Liberty and Patriot get special trim levels mid-model generation to keep things fresh.

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Jeepin
Posted: 2007/9/13 16:23  Updated: 2007/9/13 16:23
Home away from home
Joined: 2005/11/28
From: TX
Posts: 190
 Re: Newsweek Suggests Compass, Liberty, and Commander Des...
Wow, I didn't realize the Commander was doing that much better than the Durango. Maybe Chryco should rethink their whole "axe the Commander, keep the Durango" plan. Though I seriously don't see them axing Dodge's only "big" SUV. Stupid brand politics.

Either way, I still don't see the new vehicles as being big enough to really compete with GM's new Lambda-based fullsize crossovers, and the Durango has never been big enough to compete with the Tahoe/Expedition to start with.

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tkmd
Posted: 2007/9/13 13:52  Updated: 2007/9/13 13:52
Not too shy to talk
Joined: 2006/4/27
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Posts: 23
 Re: Newsweek Suggests Compass, Liberty, and Commander Des...
I agree with him a 100%. The heyday of the SUV is done.

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davert
Posted: 2007/9/13 14:48  Updated: 2007/9/13 14:48
Not too shy to talk
Joined: 2007/5/14
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Posts: 21
 Re: Newsweek Suggests Compass, Liberty, and Commander Des...
Every dingbat with a pen is making their own list based on who-knows-what. Long before this speech, Chrysler had planned to trim its lines. That was well known over at allpar.com - and the Commander was suggested as one strong possibility; also the Durango and Grand Cherokee were rumored to be moving to a shared platform, MAYBE based on the next generation Dakota, and maybe not.

What I do know is that at least very recently they were researching the Dakota's replacement, or I'd assume the Dakota was to go. I don't think it is. I don't see the point in dropping Compass. Magnum is likely to go. Liberty would be just plain dumb to drop; both Liberty and Nitro are selling fairly well.

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TulsaJeep
Posted: 2007/9/13 23:59  Updated: 2007/9/13 23:59
Just popping in
Joined: 2005/7/14
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Posts: 12
 Re: Newsweek Suggests Compass, Liberty, and Commander Des...
I think the heyday of twits who bought SUVs to be cool is over since those morons can't afford the gas. But once the majority of SUVs become hybrids and diesels (or diesel hybrids - giggity!) and start getting 25-35mpg, you'll see them get popular again. The big diesel roll-out is going to happen over the next 5 years so you're going to see a greatly changed automotive landscape by 2012 - should be fun!

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loner
Posted: 2007/9/14 2:39  Updated: 2007/9/14 2:39
Just can't stay away
Joined: 2006/2/24
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 Re: Newsweek Suggests Compass, Liberty, and Commander Des...
I was hoping to read somewhere in here the Dakota was going the way of the Dodo.

Can always keep hoping.
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