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SalesChrysler President Indicates Models Will Be Cut
Posted by mike on 2007/10/2 11:11:00 (3326) reads

Chrysler President Jim Press recently indicated that Chrysler's product line will have to undergo some sort of transformation. Noting that the line is saturated in some segments and thin in other segments.

"The cars have intrinsic appeal, and I don't think we've effectively created that awareness or understanding among people. I don't think we're getting the consideration we should," Press told The Associated Press in an interview. "The company in many ways has let other people define us. We should define us ourselves."

Press wouldn't elaborate on which models should be eliminated, saying he's still studying the issue, but Chrysler is heavily tilted toward sport utility vehicles. Jeep and Dodge have four similarly priced mid-size SUVs, for example, but the company has only one compact car to capture young buyers, the Dodge Caliber.

By contrast, Toyota Motor Corp. has an entire brand devoted to young buyers, Scion, as well as three small cars and the Prius hybrid under the Toyota badge.

"There seems to be a little too much overlap in some of the models and not enough expansion," Press said.

Which Jeep model(s) do you think will be cut from the lineup?

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Poster Thread
Posted: 2007/10/3 14:48  Updated: 2007/10/3 14:48
Home away from home
Joined: 2005/11/28
From: TX
Posts: 190
 Re: Chrysler President Indicates Models Will Be Cut
The currently plan as right now is that the Commander will NOT see a 2nd gen model. The new platform will underpin the Durango, GC, and Aspen.

Just based on numbers they should ditch the Durango and Aspen and keep both the Commander and GC IMHO. Brand politics will dictate that Dodge and Chrysler both keep their big SUVs though...

Now for some speculation... With the absence of the 7-seater Commander I would not be surprised to see the GC upsized just a bit (it'll still be smaller than the Durango though) with a 3rd row. Honestly in this segment is makes no sense at all to stick to a 5-seat vehicle. I'm not sure what Jeep things it's competition for the GC is, but I'd bet they've all got 3 rows of seating... Ford Explorer (3 rows), Honda Pilot (3 rows), Toyota Highlander (3 rows), Acura MDX (3 rows), Lexus RX (next gen will have 3 rows), Lexus GX (3 rows), Nissan Pathfinder (3 rows)...

For all practical purposes what I think we'll basically be seeing the GC (5-seater) go away and the Commander (7-seater) renamed/restyled as the new Grand Cherokee. I have no actual info to support this though... just logic.

The Pacifica will disappear and the Aspen will be styled somewhat to hit that market segment as Chrysler's big psuedo-crossover UTE, probably to better compete with the Pilot, Highlander, and maybe GM's Lambda-based CUVs (Outlook/Acadia). The Pacifica actually sells pretty decently.

With Daimler mostly out of the picture now, I think the Crossfire will stop at the end of it's product cycle. It's never been a big seller, never reached halo car status, and quite frankly has never been very popular overall.

I think I've also heard that the Magnum won't get it's contract renewed either.

I'm pretty sure the Dakota is sticking around (it's actually selling better than the Durango), and I'd nearly bet money on the fact that the Liberty and Nitro will both stick around.

I would guess that the Compass would get killed off though, but that the Patriot would stick around. I'm not sure about in other places, but I see far more Patriots on the roads here than Compasses. The past two months the Patriot has outsold the Compass nearly 2-1, and it's outside the Compass every month this year since May.

I also don't see them getting rid of either of their minivans. The T&C was Chrysler's 3rd top selling vehicle last month, and the Caravan was Dodge's #2 seller last month.

Poster Thread
Posted: 2007/10/3 9:36  Updated: 2007/10/3 9:36
Just popping in
Joined: 2006/3/4
Posts: 8
 Re: Chrysler President Indicates Models Will Be Cut
The Grand or Liberty will be cut if they cut on the Jeep side.

The Durango should have been dumped 2 years ago.


Poster Thread
Posted: 2007/10/2 22:23  Updated: 2007/10/2 22:29
Home away from home
Joined: 2002/3/22
Posts: 247
 Re: Chrysler President Indicates Models Will Be Cut
First of all, with all of the market research, engineering, styling and re-tooling that went into the Liberty and Nitro, they aren't going anywhere for a long time, so go cry tears in yer beers. Besides I like them.

I'm not particularly fond of the Compass and the Patriot, but I'll take tha Patriot over ther Compass. I'd still like to see a a Willys 4 seater baby Wrangler built off the Patriot platform with 4WIS, CVT2L Transaxle, and an integrated rollcage/hardtop/soft top system.

As a matter of fact, as mentioned in the article (and I've said this many times before in past postings) the Compass/Patriot/Willys/M80 p'up/PT Cruiser should be branded seperately under, say, the WILLYS or EAGLE nameplate as entry-level models with lots of inexpensive standard (even if last-generation) features like the SCION brand...

And, HEY CHRYSLER!!! Redesign the PT Cruiser using Willys Coupe styling instead of cutting it out alltogether.

Commander is going only because the whole platform is going, but, again, the concept should be brought back in the next gen...

Trailhawk should have it's own platform, and become the next Cherokee, not a Badge-Engineered shared platform with the Commander, the Durango and the Aspen.

Commander has become the new Jeep Flagship, whether anyone wants to admit it or not.

The JT Pickup must be built, but have flexble cargo options so it can be a part-time 5 seater like the Scrambler of yore...

This probably doesn't do much for cutting models, but cut out stuff like the Crossfire, the Pacifica, merge the 300 closer to the Charger, and Dodge is making 2 (TWO) crossovers anyway, so if they aren't cutting any brands, why should I...And OOJ, your YJ STILL Sucks, just like the CUBS!!!!

Poster Thread
Posted: 2007/10/2 19:47  Updated: 2007/10/2 19:48
Not too shy to talk
Joined: 2006/10/25
From: Anchorage, Alaska
Posts: 37
 Re: Chrysler President Indicates Models Will Be Cut
Jeep models to go: CompAss, Commander.
Jeep lineup 5(4) models: patriot, Wrangler, Wrangler unlimited, Liberty, Grand Cherokee.
Dodge models to go: Magnum, Dakota, Durango, nitro(too much jeep in it for its own good plus they have a crossover in the works right now)
Dodge lineup 7+ models: fullsize pickups, sprinter, grand caravan, charger, avenger, caliper( :P ), viper.
chrysler models to go: pacifica(already gone), crossfire, townandcountry (no other competitors have minvans in two of their brands).
Chrysler lineup 5 models: aspen(nextgen GC based), new crossover based pt cruiser(awd), 300, sebring, calber based compact sedan(it would look hot with that pentastar on the hood).
(chrysler wont seem so old-folky with that lineup)

Poster Thread
Posted: 2007/10/2 14:45  Updated: 2007/10/2 14:45
Just can't stay away
Joined: 2005/7/13
From: Peoria
Posts: 150
 Re: Chrysler President Indicates Models Will Be Cut
I see Jeep with one large, that being a Grand Cherokee/Commander, mid-size - Liberty, compact -Patriot and speciality - Wrangler.

They have their work cut out for them with Dodge and Chrysler. They may need to think about a new division like Scion to bring in the youth market. They really need a compact that could go head to head with the Civic. No matter how good of a care it is it will never be truly taken seriously if it is a Dodge or Chysler. When I think of Dodge I think blue-collar guys car and when I think Chysler I think grandpa or urban hip-hop crowd.

Poster Thread
Posted: 2007/10/2 18:10  Updated: 2007/10/2 18:10
 Re: Chrysler President Indicates Models Will Be Cut
Jeep- Dump the Compass! Turn the Commander into a full size, Tahoe fighter. Make a Gladiator midsize utility oriented truck.

Dodge- Tone down the ugly Dakota, do a real makeover of the Avenger/Stratus, price the new Challenger reasonably.

Chrysler- make some thing cool...the 300 is about the only good thing in the lineup.

Poster Thread
Posted: 2007/10/2 12:36  Updated: 2007/10/2 12:36
Just popping in
Joined: 2007/8/7
From: The biggest Springfield
Posts: 2
 Re: Chrysler President Indicates Models Will Be Cut
Compass, Patriot and Commander should go.
Magnum, Nitro and Dakota should go. And Aspen too.

Line up should be:
Jeep= Wrangler, Wrangler Unlimited, Liberty, Grand Cherokee and Gladiator (new mid+ size truck)

Dodge= Ram, Durango, Grand Caravan, Caliber, Avenger, Charger and Viper. And Sprinter too.

Chrysler= Town & Country, Pacifica, Sebring, 300, Cruiser and Crossfire.

Auto manufacturers having too many models has got to be hurting overall sales. Waters down the offering in my opinion. Some cross platform is okay when you're talking about luxury trim like the Caravan and T & C. I see the Grand Cherokee becoming bigger to cross with the Durango and the Commander going away. To me, making the Liberty bigger and more luxurious is a mistake. Just because you put the Jeep name on the Patriot and Compass doesn't make Jeep buyers want it and I don't see new to Jeep buyers picking them up just because of the Jeep badge. It's backwards thinking if you ask me.

Honda created a new segment with the Element. It's a minivan without sliding doors. That's what brings in new buyers to your brand, not jumping on the "crossover" band wagon with the Compass. Create a High Utility, Low Cost Jeep and it will sell. The aftermarket will provide as folks come up with money later. Or like Scion, put the price point low and then put the addons later through dealer parts dept.

Poster Thread
Posted: 2007/10/2 13:17  Updated: 2007/10/3 11:16
Home away from home
Joined: 2005/7/13
Posts: 377
 Re: Chrysler President Indicates Models Will Be Cut
Commander should stay (or a new SUV should replace Commander and Grand Cherokee but sized more like the Commander).

Durango should go (Durango is now selling worse than the Aspen and combined Durango and Aspen sales are barely more than the Commander is by itself).

Patriot shouldn't go... now that the KK is more Grand Cherokee sized, the Patriot needs to fill the small econobox SUV slot.

Trim each line to 5 or 6 models...

Jeep (4WD SUVs ONLY): Patriot, Liberty, next-gen Grand Cherokee (Trailhawk?), next-gen Commander, Wrangler & Wrangler Unlimited

Dodge (Trucks & Performance Cars): Ram, Sprinter, Avenger, Charger, Challenger, Viper

Chrysler (Family & Luxury Cars): Town & Country, Pacifica Replacement, PT Cruiser Replacement, Sebring, 300

Poster Thread
Posted: 2007/10/2 12:03  Updated: 2007/10/2 12:03
Just can't stay away
Joined: 2006/8/25
Posts: 109
 Re: Chrysler President Indicates Models Will Be Cut
The obvious choice for me is the Compass. Let Jeep make the SUV's, Dodge make the trucks and Chrysler make the cars.

Poster Thread
Posted: 2007/10/2 17:46  Updated: 2007/10/2 17:46
Home away from home
Joined: 2005/7/18
From: Pennsylvania
Posts: 266
 Re: Chrysler President Indicates Models Will Be Cut
Definitely cutting the Compass.
Probably cutting the Commander.
Next would be the Liberty.

I wish Jeep would go with a 3-4 vehicle line-up based on size and seating. Then have universal engines and options across ALL models. What's the advantage to having 5 engine choices in one model and 4 models with 1 engine each?
The CRD, 3.7l, and MDS 5.7l should be it. If more power is needed - add more boost.

Poster Thread
Posted: 2007/10/3 10:04  Updated: 2007/10/3 10:04
Quite a regular
Joined: 2005/11/28
Posts: 47
 Re: Chrysler President Indicates Models Will Be Cut
I would think the Commander would "upsize" some when this model is finished, might be rebranded as something else like "Trailhawk" or whatever, before it would get cut.

If you think on size / luxury level, there would be 6:
Jeep Wrangler / Unlimited
Grand Cherokee
Commander +

Liberty handles the 20k segment for those that don't want the open-top abilities and a more refined ride w/ Jeep 4x tech, so that stays. The Grand has more lux and about the same size, but bigger engines. If they don't up the size of the Commander, then they would kill it, but then Jeep wouldn't have the favored 7 passenger SUV segment to fight with the other players in the space.

There is brand-bleed going on between Chrysler, Dodge, and Jeep, which is what I think Jim Press was hinting at defining some separation there.
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