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SalesDetriot Free Press Recommends Axing the Compass
Posted by mike on 2008/2/18 21:19:56 (3431) reads

The Detroit Free Press is playing a bit of armchair quarterback by making some recommendations about how to pare down its large lineup of vehicles.

For instance, the Dodge Nitro is too similar to the Jeep Liberty, with which it shares all its major systems, much of its looks and a toehold in the rapidly shrinking market for midsize SUVs.

If you eliminate the Nitro, it becomes apparent that Dodge could use a small crossover SUV to get into a growing market populated by vehicles like the Ford Escape, Honda CR-V and Chevrolet Equinox.

And there's no need for both the Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravan minivans.

Press recently told dealers that launching both minivans cost the company $100 million more than a single model would have. That figure is probably looking only at marketing costs.

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Poster Thread
lewt2007
Posted: 2008/3/6 22:33  Updated: 2008/3/6 22:33
Just popping in
Joined: 2008/2/23
From: Ohio
Posts: 3
 Re: Detriot Free Press Recommends Axing the Compass
The reason Chrysler axed the Jeep truck is because it competed directly with dodge. if you didnt allready know this but the Dakota came out after the Jeep comanche. it came out right after Chrysler bought jeep and the comanche never had a chance to take off like the previous jeep trucks that came before it. Plus the cherokee name goes way back to 1977 when jeep released the full size cherokee. the grand cherokee is the third generation in the cherokee line. the cherokee was one of the most popular jeep models ever made the only screw up was discontinuing the jeep 4.0 Liter inline six that American motors designed for the jeep line. Plus the golden eagle was back right before they replaced the TJ wrangler with the Jeep JK wrangler anyway. and Renegade is on the liberty line the ones that they should get rid of are the paitriiot and the compass because they are not and i mean NOT REAL Jeeps because they are front wheel drive with no low range in the drivetrain.

Poster Thread
myhotwheels22981
Posted: 2008/2/20 15:03  Updated: 2008/2/20 15:03
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 Re: Detriot Free Press Recommends Axing the Compass
What Chrysler needs to do is not necessarily cut out models, but cut out repetitive base models which undercut the high-end models between brands...

Let Jeep, Dodge, and Chrysler have their individual models, but cut down platform sharing on the low end...

For example the Nitro R/T is beautiful, and an SRT version would be a screamer...but do we need the base models running around? The base model Liberty is nicer than the base Nitro.

Make the Viper, the 300C and the Nitro R/T "Chrysler brands".

Leave the Off-Roading to Jeep, so they are free to build the JT/Scrambler and Gladiator off the JK platform, and I agree We dont need the Cherokee AND the Commander, so Axe the Cherokee and keep the Commander on its own platform (Commander goes better with Wrangler, Gladiator and Scrambler than Cherokee does anyway).
(Cherokee went along with the Golden Eagle/Renegade/theme, so unless those names are coming back, stick with one theme.)

As far as Dodge goes, the Challenger will be their new halo car, it is more affordable, so simply have Dodge and Dodge truck, with the R/T versions belonging to Dodge, and limit the Nitro to the R/T version.

And Oh, yeah lose the Compass, and if they must keep the Patriot, beef it up with a lift and 31 inch tires, but I would much rather see the Willys concept built as their entry level car, and price it to compete with Scion.

Poster Thread
MarkH
Posted: 2008/2/20 6:43  Updated: 2008/2/20 6:58
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 Re: Detriot Free Press Recommends Axing the Compass
Besides pickup trucks, Dodge's new "face" will be the long-awaited Challenger... they hope... It will have engine choices from a base 3.5L-V6 to the new 5.7L-380HP VCT HEMI to the SRT8-425HP HEMI. Also, a special drag-race only edition will be available (~800# lighter --see Allpar.com for info!) And maybe, eventually, the 6.4L-520+HP HEMI if we "ask" nicely.

Oh yeah, all will be available with a stick. As long as there's no General Lee DoH numbers on the side, what's not to like?

Now, so much for Dodge. Where's the fr!gg!n' JT and engine options for the JKs?

Poster Thread
77chief
Posted: 2008/2/19 16:29  Updated: 2008/2/19 16:29
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 Re: Detriot Free Press Recommends Axing the Compass
sooo...whats the point of dodge again? chrysler is gonna keep the town and country, jeep is gonna keep the liberty and dodge is gonna go bye bye (about time) i mean its not like they sell a mopar 440 anymore.

and another thing i dont get because you always hear the excuse that dodge will build the trucks so that means jeep cant. look at gm, they got chevy, gmc and now a hummer pickups, why cant jeep.
i need a "new" j10/20

Poster Thread
Jeepin
Posted: 2008/2/20 10:52  Updated: 2008/2/20 10:52
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Posts: 190
 Re: Detriot Free Press Recommends Axing the Compass
That's historically been the problem with Chryco... despite massive product overlap in some areas, ie: Caravan and Town&Country, they seem to think Dodge is the only brand they can have that sells trucks. That's pretty much why Jeep stopped building/selling trucks in the first place and why they still don't have a new one...

A JK-based JT or Gladiator would sell like crazy, even with the V6. Probably much more so than the now lame-duck Dakota. The heads at Chryco seem to think that a small/midsize Jeep truck would cut into sales of the Dakota, but what they fail miserably at understanding is that the folks that would buy a Jeep truck, most likely would NOT even be considering the Dakota in the first place. The ONLY way they could fail at building a small/midsize Jeep truck is if they built it as a rebadged Dakota, ala the current Mitsubishi Raider.

As far as an all-new J10/20 goes, all they'd really have to do is slap a Jeepy front clip on the Ram and sit back and watch the sales roll in. Sure, some Ram sales would get canabalized, but their overall sales would increase and the "Mopar" truck market share would go up. Shoot, they already have the Ram Powerwagon, which is basically a Ram Rubicon.

Both products seem like absolute no-brainers to me, especially if they could drop a small diesel into the JK-based truck...

Poster Thread
xjken99
Posted: 2008/2/19 14:47  Updated: 2008/2/19 14:47
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 Re: Detriot Free Press Recommends Axing the Compass
I hate to see Chrysler have to cut a lot of models but, thanks to Daimler it will have to so that it can survive. Personally I like the Liberty better than the Nitro and I think Jeep needs to go back to just 3 models Wrangler, Liberty and Grand Cherokee. I know that if you cut both the Patriot and the Compass you lose the mpg leaders of the brand but, if they would make diesels available across the Jeep line thay could make up some of that lose in the CAFE numbers. For those who want to see the JT or the Gladitor that would still be possible under the Wrangler model. My biggest concern with Chrysler as a whole is that the new owners will lose patience and sell pieces or the whole thing to China or India. I have not bought a new Chrysler product since the germans took over but, as long as a US company has control they are back in the mix.

Poster Thread
Renegade
Posted: 2008/2/19 14:35  Updated: 2008/2/19 14:35
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Joined: 2005/8/11
From: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 80
 Re: Detriot Free Press Recommends Axing the Compass
Well, there are certainly onto something with the Nitro/Liberty. In the long run, who's going to buy a spayed/neutered Jeep with an ugly Dodge grill?

The Liberty is a far better vehicle in my opinion and I think they're dedicated to keeping it. As mentioned, it's got history for one and for two, it got the overhaul that people have been asking for since its inception. The Nitro seems like an attempt by Chrysler to sqeeze as many vehicles as they can out of as many platforms as possible.

If they're interested in maximizing the potential of their vehicle platforms they could, instead, use those parts, time and labor on building, say... a Jeep pickup or two.


Just a thought...

Poster Thread
jeepxk
Posted: 2008/2/19 9:59  Updated: 2008/2/19 9:59
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From: Peoria
Posts: 150
 Re: Detriot Free Press Recommends Axing the Compass
I'm confused. I understand the Nitro and the need for maybe it to go away but what is the Journey then? They say Dodge needs a small crossover. Isn't the Journey a crossover? It looks like a cross between a station wagon, SUV and minivan.

Poster Thread
Jeepin
Posted: 2008/2/19 10:34  Updated: 2008/2/19 10:34
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 Re: Detriot Free Press Recommends Axing the Compass
I think the keyword in the article was "small" crossover. The Journey is relatively big, and a 7-seater. On its higher end, it'll likely compete against the GM Lamba crossovers (Saturn Outlook and Chevy Traverse), the Honda Pilot, and possibly even the Toyota Highlander. It would also probably be competing against the Ford Flex and Taurus X, not the Escape.

The Journey has a wheelbase that's almost 114", and it's just over 192" long. That's over 10" longer wheelbase than the Ford Escape, Saturn Vue, or Honda CR-V, and nearly 20" longer overall. (only about 12" longer than the Vue).

The Journey also has very "crossover" styling, and not so much "SUV" styling like the Nitro and Escape have.

If they got rid of the Compass (we can hope, right?), they could basically replace it with a Dodge SUV version off the same platform to maintain production levels of that platform. Basically a Jeep Patriot in Dodge trim... but then they'd be back to the same position they're in with the Nitro and Liberty...

Poster Thread
trevorj
Posted: 2008/2/18 21:35  Updated: 2008/2/18 21:35
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 Re: Detriot Free Press Recommends Axing the Compass
Ahhhh... relief. Back to the good ol' days when 'Jeep' was a four wheel drive brand and actually meant something.

Poster Thread
Ingela
Posted: 2008/2/19 10:20  Updated: 2008/2/19 10:20
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 Re: Detriot Free Press Recommends Axing the Compass
I think looks wise, the Nitro is much better looking, and if its basically the same as the Liberty, I say axe the Liberty, it be such a shame to let such a great design die so young.
Liberty looks too mehhh even for a jeep

Poster Thread
Jeepin
Posted: 2008/2/19 10:41  Updated: 2008/2/19 10:41
Home away from home
Joined: 2005/11/28
From: TX
Posts: 190
 Re: Detriot Free Press Recommends Axing the Compass
Personally I'm just the opposite. I think the Liberty looks way better than the Nitro. It's selling a lot better too, and it makes sense to keep it in the Jeep brand since it's the Cherokee to the rest of the world, vs the Nitro which is just an all-new vehicle to the Dodge line-up, not a continuation of a long-standing name (even the Liberty badge has some history now in the US).

Poster Thread
hal2814
Posted: 2008/2/21 12:33  Updated: 2008/2/21 12:33
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 Re: Detriot Free Press Recommends Axing the Compass
You mean the good ol days like 1963 when the Wagoneer ad in the vintage post below this one touted the Wagoneer's IFS and a 2 wheel drive model? Take off your rose-colored glasses. Jeep has been diverging from being strictly a 4-wheel drive brand for a long time now.
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