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SalesLack of All-new Jeep Grand Cherokee Hurting DaimlerChrysler's Bottom Line?
Posted by mike on 2002/5/10 0:00:00 (878) reads

Analysts are concerned that DaimlerChrysler's short-term outlook is weak without all-new Jeeps and trucks to compete.

Yahoo News! is running an interesting article about the fact that DaimlerChrysler may be falling behind its rivals in the 4X4 and truck markets due to its lack of new models in the next few years. Here's a snippet:

It may be turning the corner, thanks to cost cutting and an improving economy, but some analysts think a lack of new products is hindering Chrysler Group's overall recovery.

 
Company executives vow that Chrysler, part of the German-American auto maker DaimlerChrysler AG, will launch 11 new vehicles in the next three years.
 
But those vehicles which include a convertible version of the PT Cruiser and the Pacifica crossover vehicle aren't coming fast enough to compete with the import auto makers and an invigorated General Motors Corp, analysts say.
 
"The problem is the dearth of new products to stimulate demand," said S&P Equity Group analyst Efraim Levy. "You can only save your way to profits for so long; you have to have products to sustain that. In order to have long-term growth, Chrysler has to keep the hits coming."
 
Fresh products are the key to the success of any auto maker; they create demand and help minimize the use of generous cash rebates and low-rate financing to sell cars.
 
...snip...
 
In the fall, Chrysler plans to launch an all-new Dodge Viper, the PT Cruiser Turbo and a heavy-duty version of the Dodge Ram.
 
Next year, Chrysler will roll out high-performance versions of its Dodge Ram and Neon, the Chrysler Pacifica crossover vehicle and the Chrysler Crossfire roadster. In 2004, Chrysler plans to launch the convertible PT Cruiser.
 
Analysts are also concerned that Chrysler's short-term product plan doesn't include many trucks to compete with GM and other rivals.
 
In addition, too many of those products are updated versions of existing models instead of entirely new vehicles, they say.
 
Specifically, Chrysler needs to replace its aging Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs and full-size Dodge Intrepid cars, which haven't had a major redesign since the late 1990s, said Art Spinella, an analyst with CNW Marketing/Research.
 
Already, GM has launched mid-sized sport-utility vehicles such as the GMC Envoy and the Chevy TrailBlazer, which have been hot sellers in the last several months.
 
GM also plans to launch such products as the Hummer H2 this summer and the Cadillac SRX crossover vehicle and Pontiac Grand Prix next year, which could also put pressure on Chrysler's sales.
 
Chrysler spokesman Rick Deneau wouldn't comment on future vehicles beyond those already announced.
 
However, Burnham Securities analyst David Healy said the next major changes to the Grand Cherokee and the Intrepid aren't due until around 2004.
Be sure to check out the entire article.

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Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Jeepin' Kev
here is my commentI had a 1993 Grand limited with all wheel drive and 5.2 liter v8. I got 110,000 miles before trading it in on a new one with a 3" high flow exhaust system from the y back and it rocked and roared like a mustang. I now own a 2001 Grand Cherokee Limited 60th Anniversary Edition and this was night and day from the 1st Grands. It has been greatly improved with ride, handling, and off-road capability. I think that the so-called reviewist need to get out of the dark ages. The Jeep is the best 4x4 on the market and it out weighs any other jeep on the market for price and performance. And to compare it to the corrosion prone Ford Explorer is an insult. The only reason this sells is because it is so cheap. The two Jeeps that I have owned are fun to drive they handle like cars and have the muscle of trucks. I think that Jeep went wrong by changing the appearance of the limited which always had body cladding colors not a big chrome grill like the lower model laredo. Plus i believe that the special edition looks better than the limited in the new model. My suggestion is o not fix what isn't broke. Just give me more horsepower the 265 is minimal 350 would be great. What do you think? The commanche would definitely sell. I say that once you go Jeep you never go back!!!!!!!

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Gary
Jason, I agree with you, except that I also want to see either a Cherokee replacement (the Liberty is not) or a stretched Wranger/Dakar offered. Also, I'd love to see the Jeepster concept vehicle produced. It had good looks (how they went from the front end on the Jeepster to the front end of the Liberty-which is butt ugly, amazes me) and the ability to raise the suspension 4 inches to do rough trails. I liked that.

By the way I actually saw a Liberty on a semi rough Jeep trail in the Panamint Mountains (South Park Trail) and it was doing ok.

Gary

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: ifa1
ifa1 tink dat the Grand Cherokee is butt ugly
and looks like a minivan. The Liberty is also
butt ugly. I also love my new Turbo S New
Beetle..... n stuff.......

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: JASON
here is my comment I

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: 2000 Cherokee Owner
Like the first poster was quick to note, the current Grand Cherokee is only in its fourth model year! Only Honda, and perhaps a couple others such as Toyota, have 4 year cycles..and that is for passenger cars mainly. Trucks almost always go much longer.

This is not the first I have read of the GC being old, in fact, I think I read such an assertion in an article last model year. The vehicle is only considered "old" because it does not have syrup for a suspension like most of the new de-masculined utes.

I for one, think that some analysts will only be satisfied once all the SUV's are car-based, mall and suburb friendly cute utes. Not that the GC can't handle the onroad well as it is.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Bill
Interesting that the news item immediately preceding this one credits a 10% year-over-year increase in sales of the "tired, old" Grand Cherokee for the significant improvement in DC's financial performance this year. Apparently I am not alone in the view that the Grand Cherokee is still the "best in breed" despite the increasing number of pretenders.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Farm Boy
As a previous Cherokee owner and the happy owner of a 2000 Grand, I cannot imagine a better
vehicle. While most of my use is onroad, it has what it takes when I go offroad. It is the absolute
best handling, gutsy, and comfortable vehicle I have ever owned.

If anybody thinks it's outdated, try driving some of the other choices..... I was stuck with a 2002
Explorer rental while my Grand was in the shop after a sideswipe.... what a dog.... it was a
high end Explorer. It's handling was terrible, it wasn't as gutsy as my V8 with Quadradrive,
and it's layout of indicators and controls was awful.

The existing Grand Cherokee is a jewel and I personally think it has the potential to be as
longlived as the old Cherokee in the marketplace.

If jeep ever eliminates this fine design from it's product line they will make a grave mistake!

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: JASON
MRJEEP THANKS FOR THE SUPPORT! I WAS BEGINNING TO THINK THAT ALL THATS READING THIS IS TREE HUGGING,COMPACT BUYING,IMPORT LOVING FULL SIZE JEEP HATERS! ITS GOOD TO KNOW THAT THERES STILL A FEW OF US GOOD OL JEEP GUYS AROUND!IF THERES ANY MORE OUT THERE ID LIKE TO HEAR YOUR THOUGHTS. -JEEP FOREVER!!!-

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: mrjeep
here is my comment

Definitely Jeep needs to go full size and fast! A new line up Grand Wag. and J-Series and a commanche that blows the doors off the Dakota. These vehicles would definitely sell! And an extended cab Jeep truck-wow-would that be a hit from day one!


Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: twonabomber
ANALysts suck ass...

don't hold your breath on a full-size Wagoneer, or more fullsize J-series pickups. DC doesn't have room under the CAFE standards for more fullsize vehicles, they're not selling enough fuel efficient four-bangers to offset sales of gas-hungry V8's. and with most dealers now carrying Dodge, Chrysler, and Jeep vehicles, they don't need competing pickup trucks in the same showroom. unless DC takes full control of Mitsubishi, and can factor in those sales to pad their CAFE numbers, we probably won't even see a fullsize Dodge SUV, let alone a Jeep.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: XJKEN
Unfortunately the entire new car market is driven by those who want the latest
and not the best vehicle. I sincerely believe that the GC is by far the best
combination of street and trail capability available in the market place today.
However the people who are buying the Toyotas and Hondas don't give a rats a$$ about trail capabitilies, all they are looking for is a station wagon they can
drive in the snow, or take to the gravel camp grounds. I know that styling is a very subjective area but in my opinion the upcoming Honda Pilot (GC competitor) already looks five years older than the Grand and it hasn't even hit the streets yet. And if you really want to see butt ugly wait till they introduce
their little crossover vehicle next year.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: ex-Jeep Design engineer
Jason, that side to side motion has nothing to do with the width of the vehicle. It is caused by the track bar on the front suspension and it's relative angle to the ground. This has been an issue with ALL of the "Quadralink" suspensions since day one in the 1984 XJ.


Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: JASON
here is my comment For some reason I keep getting cut off here. But to finish what I was saying. Even if they had left the GC in their line up they could have offered the larger Grand Wagoneer.Chrysler certainly could have put a few R&D dollars into one of their to five sellers. Jeep is a goldmine if they knew what they were doing. The problem with the Jeep line is its too small.When Willys,Kaiser & AMC had Jeep they had a large line to choose from. But when Chrysler took over the killed much of the line instead of improving it.One of the worst things they did was kill the most heavy duty line of truck available.For Chrysler to make some big waves right now they need to offer the followig line up. The Wrangler The Liberty The Grand Cherokee The ALL NEW Full Size Grand Wagoneer The All New Full Size J-Series Truck The All New Mid Size Comanche Truck Now this is a money making line up! But I read in the Wall Street that some Big Wig at chrysler said that Jeep doesnt belong in the full size business,its always been a smaller vehicle . I sorry Sir but I for one disagree and thats why your not selling vehicles. Someone else is eatting your lunch. And if you want to sell more GC you need to make it a little longer for a 3rd row seat & a little wider to eliminate that side to side motion you get when goig over a bump. FOREVER JEEP-

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: JASON
here is my comment Dont get me wrong fellows,I own and
love a Grand Cherokee ! But its Chryslers fault that their in this situation. When GC was redesigned for 99 it wasnt done properly. Anyone who has any sense about whats going on in the market place could have seen where the trend was going. BACK TO FULL SIZE!!!! There is no reason why Chrysler couldnt have built something to compete with the Tahoes & Expeditions. Even if they had left the GC

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: MRJEEP
here is my comment

Yeah, and the chevy trailblazer needed a redesign after being on the market since the mid nineties. With that gutless 4.3 V-6, they needed a better engine. And how many recalls has chevy had in the first year of the new trailblazer-let's see a first the suspension fell out of it, then transfer cases were cracked or whatever, now I heard yet another recall this week. The 'ole' grand has it's share of recalls but over a 4 year period. That's the difference between Jeep and GM, it takes GM practically 10 years to get things straigthened out-at the public's exspense of buying their stuff. Notice GM doesn't change their bread and butter trucks every 2 days. Hell, I'm not much of a Liberty Lover, but I remember when they were testing it well over 4 years ago-they perfect things-and not at the public's exspense..

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Laredo
There has been only four model yrs with the present GC (1999-2002)... what the hell do people except.... a new glorified station wagon every year.
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