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Concept/DemonstrationCompass? What Compass?
Posted by mike on 2003/1/20 0:00:00 (1827) reads

Will the Jeep Compass concept car ever make it to production?

The Toledo Blade ran an interested article on what the future may hold for the Jeep Compass, introduced last year at the North American International Auto Show. Here's a snippet:

The Jeep Compass concept was one of Chrysler’s auto show darlings a year ago, making its way from a Detroit debut to Paris and elsewhere worldwide.

Inspired by a performance rally car and built on a Toledo-made Liberty base, the Compass was targeted at so-called millennials, a group of young consumers outnumbering baby boomers.

Chrysler Chief Executive Dieter Zetsche had told The Blade the Compass was one of the automaker’s strongest concepts at the 2002 North American International Auto Show; another executive later said a decision about its production may be made by the end of last year.

But the direction of the Compass appears to have veered.

Chrysler remained tight-lipped yesterday about the sport-utility vehicle’s future during media previews for this year’s 10-day Cobo Center show, which opens to the public Saturday. Union representatives for workers at Toledo Jeep Assembly haven’t heard the Compass mentioned for a couple of months.

"There’s really not much we can say right now," said DaimlerChrysler AG spokesman Max Gates. "We simply haven’t made a decision."

...snip...

The all-wheel-drive Compass is geared toward urban use with occasional jaunts on gravel or dirt paths. Its roof is seven inches lower and its body is a few inches shorter than the Liberty’s. The concept has two doors, but a production vehicle probably would have four because young buyers want space, an automaker executive has said.

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: Sam
ScramblerKen #1 Jeep was never known for being affordable to buy or operate. #2 The original postal Jeep was a CJ not a Cherokee. #3 Have you driven a Liberty off road ? #4 DC is surviving right now thanks to Jeep. Therefore money will be invested in that division. #5 By broadening the Jeep line (not to be confused with diluting) Jeep will generate more R&D funding which will allow Jeep to fill more of these niches which have served it well over its long history. #6 Some yuppie might as well be pouring money into Jeep instead of some rice burner company. That money will allow us to see the future Jeeps that we want like Scambler,four door Wranglers,a new Cherokee,Pick-ups and full size Wagoneers.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: XJGary
I agree with Scrambler Ken, in that the Liberty is the wrong way to go, as it diltes the mission of Jeep. It would be like a 4 cylinder Corvette. What would be the point? Look at the cargo area of a Liberty-once you put in an ice chest it would be full! Then what, stack it to the ceiling and have it all fall on the back seat passengers every time you hit a bump on the trail?

I also hope they come out with a stretched Wrangler, and that the Turbo Diesel is an option.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: to hell with hondas
hey man libertys did not go in the wrong direction, and they do stand out! first of all, theyve got the same t-cases as the rest of the jeeps, and not some total bullshit one like in that RX300. By the way i live in Mongomery County in Maryland, and our county uses KJs as fleet vehicles as well as cherokees.

Why wouldnt the Compass be in the right direction? I think that its great that jeep is expanding thier market to rally vehicles. Your right that we should kick subarus ass, and you know what? It probobly will. If not the first year than the second year. Jeep is the king of 4x4s and we will always find a way to beat the competition. For example, when the Sammy came out, and was much cheaper than the Wrangler, to make it competitive, chrysler made the Wrangler S to beat it out. And big suprise; it did!

And to that person who said that Jeep is making some crazy concepts, just look at that crap thats coming out of ford! have you seen that model Q? (or whatever its called) That has got to be one of the dumbest designs i have ever seen, and should never go into production.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: XJKEN
I hope Matt's first post is correct but, some how I think DC is headed down the road of less capable Jeep vehicles. Up until the advent of the XJ in 1984 Jeep was the original "Nitch" manufacturer. I would like nothing more than to see
Jeep become the 21st century builder of real off road capable vehicles, but I am afraid thats just not where the market is headed. All the majority of SUV buyers want is the off-road mystic without the off-road capability. As far as the Compass is concerned, I do not have a problem with a rally inspired Jeep vehicle. Rally events are becoming a very popular form of grassroots racing in
this country. If Jeep wrote the book on four wheel drive, then why not build a rally type vehicle and kick some sand into Subaru's face and prove it. Just don't mess with the TJ

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Michael C
I just cant see how the Compass would "dilute" the brand. Jeep has made 2WD road cars in the past and somehow the brand still flourished. If the Compass brings buyers to Jeep, the company stays healthy. Buyers who may have never considered a Jeep, mind you. If those buyers eventually move up to Wranglers, Libertys and Grand Cherokees, then all the better for Jeep. Argue the point if you will, but a lot of off road Jeep owners have a second, everyday car, something a little more tame on pavement. Wouldnt it be nice for that 2nd, everyday car to be a Jeep? Just one guy's opinion.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: To Hell With Hondas
preach it guys! man i thought id be reading flame mail about how it has ifs and blah blah blah... lol. i personaly think that the compass is a great idea and thank god im not the only one! i think though that we will always find a way to go wheelin. just recently, superlift reopened a whole park! i dont know which one it was but i read it in JP. it is legal to wheel on your land, if you own it, so theres an idea. make a course in your backyard! if only the misses would give up that lil garden of hers!

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Bob
Naw, they're just delaying an announcement until they decide on what shade of pink to dress the pre-production car with for the announcement. ;)

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Michael C
There will be those who think the Compass hurts Jeep and others who think it helps. We will just have to disagree and let time (and free enterprise) answer that question. If its a hit, so be it. If it fails, Jeep stops production and we all move on with our lives.

I, for one, would LOVE to see Jeep in WRC, kicking Subaru's ass. What better way to tell the world you are 'king of the dirt'? Be it in the Compass or another sporty Jeep, no matter. Jeep has obviously conquered the "slow trek up the mountain". Now how about conquering a 100 mph run thru the valley? I would be a great boost to World Rally here in the states if Jeep got into it. Just my 2 cents.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: OR Bruce
XJGary has a good point. The main reason I went from an XJ to a Grand Cherokee was cargo room. The Liberty is really lacking. The tests on the Liberty and a Jeep 101 drive convinced me I could probably live with the off-road capability of a Liberty, at least before they got lowered, but there is way less cargo room than in an XJ. I like the GC, but it is a bit big, and corner visibility is not good.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Bob
ScramblerKen, you're making a lot of sense. I have hope that we'll have a proper replacement for the XJ in the long-wheelbase version of the TJ being talked about (the Dakar concept comes to mind). I especially appreciate your point about the loss of utility endemic in the this industry segment.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: ScramblerKen
Now I’m not against Jeep spreading its wings a bit, but I’m afraid the Jeep name is getting too diluted. For me, the name Jeep conjures up specific icons, just like the word Cadillac is synonymous with luxury. To me, Jeep stands for affordable, versatile, highly off road capable utility vehicles. I’m not sure the Liberty or Compass falls into that category.

Jeep spent many years building up a reputation, so why do they have to change their image? Some say to keep with the times, but Jeep sales don’t seem so awful that they need to change. The Cherokee was selling well during its last days of production. If Jeep is going to become just like any other car company, how long would they survive, or how long before they are just absorbed into the Dodge line? After many years of diversifying, Plymouth just became a duplicate of the Chrysler line, and we all know what happened to Plymouth.

The meaning of a brand name is very important. How many Liberty’s were sold because it has the Jeep logo on it? Personally, the Liberty was the wrong direction for Jeep, and the Compass would take it farther down that path. There is nothing technically wrong with the Liberty; it is that the Liberty is not a true utility vehicle like prior Jeeps. I know, there was the original Jeepster (a 1948-1951 sports-car jeep), but that never sold well, so I don’t count that vehicle.

Obviously, the TJ is based on the original Jeep utility concept. The Cherokee took that a step farther by giving us a no non-sense rugged and affordable utility vehicle. The Cherokee and Wrangler are very versatile vehicles used by the government and numerous corporations for all sorts of purposes. These vehicles are true utility vehicles as they are very adaptable to all kind of jobs. The Grand Cherokee took the basis of the Cherokee and created a civilian version of the standard Cherokee. This direction for Jeep made sense, since the Grand has roots in the regular Cherokee.

When the Liberty came along, it is clearly not a replacement of the Cherokee. Libby’s were not even adapted to replace the Postal version of the Cherokee, instead, Jeep ended up adapting the Wrangler for that job. How many corporations have been using Liberty’s as replacements for Cherokees in their fleets of vehicles?

The Cherokee is plain and simple, which made it unique among the over populated small SUV market. All of the other auto manufactures had to ‘muck’ up what an SUV is by adding all sorts of gimmicks. Liberty is really not much different than a Nissan Xterra or a Ford Escape. The Liberty lacks the no non-sense Jeep style. The original concept of SUV (sport Utility Vehicle) has turned into a bunch of glorified station wagons. Now the important part, Jeep does not have to do what everyone else does. Let Jeep remain the no non-sense SUV, and let all the others build the ‘station wagons’. There is still a big market for both.

Being the no non-sense true sport utility vehicle company does not mean you can only make 4WD or solid axle. Jeep has been successful in adapting the basic utility vehicles with and without 4WD, once again, because they are very versatile vehicles. If Jeep’s trend is to use more of the Liberty concept/values are true, how long will Jeep survive. Part of the success of the Liberty is the Jeep name. Once the Jeep name becomes meaningless, how long will they be around?

As far as the Compass, this design is very similar to the Isuzu VehiCross and the Amigo/Rodeo Sport. Both of the Isuzu vehicles have never been marketing successes, so I can see why Jeep marketing might have second thoughts about building the Compass.

Now I think the second article in the Toledo Blade (http://www.toledoblade.com/apps/pbcs.dll/artikkel?SearchID=73123829576722&Avis=TO&Dato=20030108&Kategori=BUSINESS02&Lopenr=301080011&Ref=AR) is more interesting. In that article, the chairman of the Union for the Toledo Jeep plant stated there are plans underway for the ‘stretched’ versions of the Wrangler for next year. This is the first time I saw mention of building both prototypes of the longer wheel base Wrangler. In the past they only mentioned building one stretched version of the Wrangler.

As far as the TJ Wrangler not meeting federal safety standards, it might be that the stretched Wranglers are the basis of the TJ replacement. I sort of doubt Jeep would invest time/money on stretched TJ’s if they could only build them for 2 years. The safety rules for 2006 vehicles require passengers to survive certain side impact collisions. The easy way is to add side air bags. I wonder if the current TJ and its short wheelbase even with side air bags was a problem. Maybe we are seeing a similar transition as Jeep did back in the CJ5 to CJ7 days?

Time to stop worrying and go back to enjoying Jeeping……

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: XJGary
If they are going to build a car derivative of the Liberty, why not make the Jeepster concept vehicle. It was really cool, especially with the ability to raise and lower the suspension 4 inches and a soft-top. That way it could be both trail and road worthy. Of course, I'd love to see whatever they make get better fuel mileage than the current guzzlers (my XJ included). Gas is going up guys! It could be done with the new common rail turbo diesel or gas/electric hybrid technology-both of which are due out on the Liberty in a year or 2.

What I'm sick of is DC's obsession with chasing the 14-21 yeat old age group and building cartoon cars that only a kid could like.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: dill
well actually jeep has been making 2wds ever since day one. the origional willys wagon came in 2wd or 4wd. same with the willys pickup.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: OR Bruce
I'd much rather see this type of vehicle as a Dodge, but I suppose some people would not buy it unless it carried the cache of the Jeep name. It's hard for me to understand, but some people have to have the macho aspects or at least name. I was in South Florida-warm and flat-for a few weeks. My company's local attorney was driving me around in his wife's Range Rover, and said she was looking to replace it with a Hummer H2. A couple of winters ago, we had a rare snow in Portland, and our neighbor came over to ask my wife how to get her Cherokee into 4wd so she could get it out of her driveway. My wife told her to pull the lever next to the shifter, and got a blank stare in return. I think she waited until the snow melted. Jeeps with 2wd are rampant in the LA area. I hate to see it, but I can understand what DC is after. I think, though, that dilution of the brand would lose sales. People will want the cache of having real capability, even if they don't use it, such as the H2 in Miami.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: deserthorizons
I hope they make it..
I have a Liberty now and the wife has been asking about a new Jeep vehicle for her..
I have been stalling her until the Compass comes out..
IFS has not been all that much of a drawback..
Last September in Moab I did the Moab Rim, Golden Spike, Metal Masher, Hell's Revenge, and a few others.. I know the Compass would not be able to go on those, but it would be a perfect vehicle for her and a support vehicle on the trails..

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: jeepzrock
alright, we have to admit, we are a dying breed us off-roaders. As time goes on, we are sure to see more and more land closures and population growth. And I can assure you, that once an area is closed, there is no way it will ever be re-opened. Governmental growth and the amount of new regulations every year is insane. In 5 years or so, it is going to be illegal to manufacture the TJ because it lacks side air bags!! Where is Ronald Reagen when ya need him eh?? All of this means that taking your vehicle off road will become more and more difficult for the general public. The off road sales bracket is diminishing, just look at the decline in the amount of TJ's sold every year. Knowing this, DaimlerChrysler has no choice but to try and search for more buyers and a different sales bracket. If they where to keep the Jeep brand focused solely on off-road capability, Jeep would be dead before the end of the decade. DaimlerChrysler's efforts with the Compass and Liberty show that they want to keep the Jeep brand alive and healthy. I personally think it's great that they are looking for new buyers, and at the same time they are still being true to the off-roader with such a vehicle as the Rubicon. I really don't see how DC could play their hand any better.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Matt
I think this is just another sign that Daimler is finally beginning to understand the Jeep culture. An AWD rally car would dilute the brand. I think the rally car concept first seen in the Varsity, and then the Compass is now being passed on to Dodge with the AWD rally concept they had at the auto show. Now we get the Rubicon, the Freedom Edition Jeeps that include REAL rock rails on the Liberty, and the strong possibility of a new Scrambler/military TJ and the full size Jeep Commander. I think what we are seeing is a combination of Daimler finally understanding what Jeep really means, and a good kick in the pants from the Hummer H2.
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