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MiscellaneousFront-Wheel Drive Jeep?
Posted by mike on 2004/4/6 0:00:00 (613) reads

Sources indicate that it will be an entry-level Jeep - Compass?

We just got wind of this story yesterday, on the subscription-only AutoNews.com site  - now it seems that other media outlets are picking up on the story. Here's a snippet from AutoWeek.com:

The Chrysler group is developing a Jeep model from a front-drive platform, a bold departure for a brand that specializes in rugged off-roaders.

Two industry sources say the new Jeep will be based on a small, fwd platform co-developed with one of Chrysler's alliance partners. One source says the partner is Mitsubishi.

...snip...

"Is there a chance that one of our alliance partners could use this same platform that we would use for one of the Jeeps? Absolutely," says a Chrysler source familiar with the project who asked not to be identified.

The vehicle is part of a plan to expand the Jeep line from three to at least five nameplates by early 2007, a source says.

The two-door Compass, a small, entry-level concept that debuted at the 2002 Detroit auto show, signals the styling direction for the new nameplate, an industry source says.

Some Jeep loyalists at the company believe creating Jeeps off shared platforms will erode its brand image. But Chrysler group CEO Dieter Zetsche has said Jeep can share parts, electrical systems, powertrains and portions of vehicle platforms, yet maintain its distinct identity.

Such sharing saves development time and money.

If a Jeep vehicle meets or surpasses a buyer's expectations, "nobody cares what's underneath," Zetsche says.

Uh - did he just say what I think he said? Maybe it was taken out of context or something - read the entire article to find out. 

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Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Mark
These guys must be on crack! Doesn't matter what's underneath?!?! And this guy is leading the Jeep division? Call me pessimistic but what a schmuck. Are Jeeps best days behind them??? I guess we better love the ones we have now.

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

I'm Scared

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: xjgary
I care. Although I could probably accept a Jeep car if it was real 4wd w/ a low range, turbo diesel and great fuel mileage. I saw gas for $2.39 for Regular this morning in my city.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Canuck Jeeper
You know, Jeep has survived through many Image-unfriendly situations...the Jeepster was marketed as a 'car', 2-wheel drive mail jeeps (those were cool, though), the PINK Surrey with its stripey roof & dome hubcaps, square headlights on the YJ, GM engines, Peugeot transmissions, & being teamed up with Renault. As long as DC keeps focus & firmly establishes what it means to be a Jeep, We'll be fine. A FWD based Jeep? Yeah, that gives me the willies (OK,stupid pun), but I suppose in the long run, it might be necessary for 'The Greater Good'.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: reply
i agree w/whitney, jeep has to expand to gain any of the ground that has been lost over the past 4 years. for all of the hard core jeepers out there, jeep will be trail rated and remain true to the vehicle you love. yet the new vehicles have to be user "friendly" ie front wheel drive, for the millions of other jeep lovers who really just love the jeep and don't need a trail rated vehicle. jeep is so far behind the pack right now it's going to be an uphill battle (sorry about the pun) to get back in the game like the rest of the manufacturers. i think it's late coming but hopefully it will help jeep dominate again...

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Doug Menzies
Too bad that upper management can make statements such as that without knowing ultimately what the Jeep brand can do for the company. Yes, companies are in business to make money but to take a well known off-road and capable vehicle line up and add less capable vehicles under its name will ultimately confuse customers and falsely promote "JEEP" vehicles that are not truly off-road worthy. The result will be a clouding of the JEEP brand recognition and could permit the competition to sell vehicles that could have been Jeep products. I believe that most Jeep customers might not know what is actually under their vehicles but all of them know that their vehicles will do just about anything they ask of it. That in itself is sales, profit, and brand loyalty.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Reader
If DC is so interested in sharing Jeep platforms with Mitsubishi, why don't they just bring back Eagle? I bet they could do some creative things with Eagle, like FWDs and AWDs... and they could experiment without even affecting the Jeep brand at all. They could develop rally cars or do whatever their little hearts desire, and keep the Jeep loyalists happy at the same time.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: OR Bruce
My first reaction is "hear, hear" to DonathanTJ. However, I suppose DC might sell more softroaders with a Jeep logo than as a Dodge, just as Jeep branded sportswear, radios, etc have sold. I'm not wild about it, but can understand. I just hope the main Jeep line remains undiluted. I want to be able travel the high country and desert with confidence in a stock vehicle.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: DothanTJ
Overall, it is not a bad article. I have often wondered why Jeep does not create a rally car. I know many will say this dilutes the brand, but the Jeepster concept would blow away the competition. I will say, in response to Dieter's comments, that it is no wonder that the Germans lost the war. If Jeep could stop them then, they will stop them in the future. We must have faith that someone at Jeep will stand up and speak there minds. Jeep does not need to make homogeneous vehicles to compete with other brands. Jeep has always stood out for being different and better than the competition. They have built a company around a niche vehicle. I would prefer what's underneath my Jeep to come from Jeep's engineers, not Mitsubishi's. Factor in some good ole German process improvements and quality controls if you must, but let the Americans design and build the Jeeps. They truly understand what a Jeep is. That's all I have to say about that.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Whitney
Seems as though a FWD Jeep has been in the works at DC for a while now. Why else would they bring out the "Trail-Rated" system? They are attempting to develop two separate subclasses within the Jeep name. We will see capable, rugged off-roading Jeeps that everyone recognizes, and you will see market grabbing vehicles aimed at segments which are obviously too tempting for DC to ignore. Capitalism and marketing at its finest.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Jeeper
To me, those expectations that have to be met ARE underneath. If they need to create spinoffs and expand the lineup, do so without diluting the primary Jeep lineup.

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

Jeep wouldn't have to worry about "losing market share to other brands" if it just focused on doing what it SHOULD BE DOING ANYWAY!!! Building JEEPS! Why are there only 3 models (and have been for so long now)???

The line-up they SHOULD be offering would look something like this...

Wrangler
Unlimited/and or Scrambler
Cherokee XJ
Liberty
Grand Cherokee
Full Size " " along the lines of a Rescue
Full Size P/U in a modern interpretation of a J-2000 or M-715

JUST BUILD FRIGGIN' JEEPS YOU IDIOTS!!!! You'll sell enough of them, especially if you collaborate with VW on a new diesel/bio diesel engine that will be out in a few years.

They're gonna keep screwing around and finish running the brand into the ground if they keep this up. Arrrggggghhhhh!!!!!!!

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: steve
I think the stupid kraut's are not only going to screw up Jeep they are already screwing with the rest of Chrysler. I wish they'd never put IFS on a ram 1500 4x4s. I think trucks are supposed to ride like trucks and not freakin cars. And what about MDS system? Do you see that in the rams? No because it'll probably malfunction in the middle of towing or something like that. I think we should all do the old Chrylser corporation a favor and buy it back from the Germans while we can still correct there f*** ups!!!!!!!!!!!!

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Steve-O
"...If a Jeep vehicle meets or surpasses a buyer's expectations, "nobody cares what's underneath,"..."

Ahhh a perfect Dilbertism and another Darwin Award candidate...

Zetsche, climb out of your 5,000 euro leather chair and learn about the product...
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