This edition of JeepNewsNow.com sponsored by:
 
MiscellaneousTwo New Jeep Models to be Built in Illinois
Posted by mike on 2005/1/27 0:00:00 (867) reads

A couple of new small-ish Jeeps?

Various news organizations around the country are reporting that DaimlerChrysler will be building two new Jeep models at its assembly plant in Belvidere, Illinois.

No word yet on what those two new vehicles will be, but the word on the street is that they will be "smaller" Jeep models - possibly the production version of the Jeep Compass.

Here's a snippet from the Rockford Register Star:

DaimlerChrysler Corp. will invest $419 million to upgrade the aging Belvidere assembly plant, adding up to 1,000 new jobs and a second production shift which will start in March 2006.

Company and union leaders, flanked by Gov. Rod Blagojevich, U.S. Rep. Don Manzullo and other state and local politicians, will make the announcement tomorrow morning at the Neon factory.

...snip...

After refurbishing, the factory will manufacture a replacement for the Dodge Neon, which will cease production in September 2005. Rebecca Lindland, a senior automotive analyst at Lexington, Mass.-based Global Insight, an economic and consulting firm, said three vehicles would likely come to Belvidere within two years, including:

- A "tall Dodge wagon" similar to the Pontiac Vibe, a four- and five-door version "sportback." Lindland called this the "spiritual successor" to the Neon. Production will begin in January 2006, with units costing about $15,000 to $16,000.

- A Jeep sport utility vehicle, named Patriot or Scout. "What we found from a variety of sources is that it is very square and about the size of the Forester," Lindland said. Production will begin in February 2006. The price is unknown, but similar to the Jeep Wrangler or Liberty.

- An entry-level Jeep sport utility vehicle, based on the Jeep Compass, a concept car first shown in 2001. Lindland said the Compass was "more along the lines of the (Subaru) Outback," and was more appealing to women. Production begins in July 2006 and will cost between $15,000 and $16,000.

Check out the entire story.  

Here are some links to other sources with the story:

Financial Times
Detroit Free Press 
Daily Herald

Reader Reactions

The comments are owned by the poster.
We aren't responsible for their content.
You must login or register to post a comment.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: jeepers
i disagree w/ the gc being a lame duck. i've been driving gcs for 10 years and this is the best ever. i enjoy driving it every time i get in it. the wrangler as other vehicles are not for everyone, but i had to stand up for the gc...i love mine.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: RUBICONTRAIL.NET
The Laredo is available with 4-Low and neutral, if you get the 4.7L V8 engine.

This would be a wise choice anyway, as the WK with the V6 is a bit underpowered.


Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: jeeper
at the detroit auto show.
there wasn't too much traffic for the grand..
more traffic for the liberty and the diesel version. The two concepts, the hurricane and the truck version of what maybe the next wrangler.
My dad pointed out a good point.. .He can't
believe whey jeep would do away with the nuetral and four low
on your laredo's... He said motor home people love the jeep becuase you can flat tow them due
to the neutral... He said why would I pay that much money for that kinda system when I can buy a liberty and have the better 4wd set up??

Hope jeep knows what they are doing.. cuz at my dealership.. not too many grands have been sold.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: RUBICONTRAIL.NET
Here in the Phoenix area I have been seeing a lot of the new Grand Cherokee's recently. About 70% have been Limited's with the HEMI engine.

I agree that the Wrangler is most likely going to be marketed as more of the off-road vehicle than ever before.

This may disappoint some as it will probably mean some of the lower priced trim levels of the Wrangler may disappear. The two new SX-based models would fill the lower price range.

Of course, most of this is speculative at this point.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Clark Kent
I see Jeep giving up it's signature design to GM!?
The new Hummer 3 is a copy of the old Cherokee. Even the Dash is the same. And what does Jeep do? The produce the Liberty (a Girley Jeep)

Jeep had better get the Gladiator or Willies or something new and good on the market soon or they will loose this customer! (who has hasd 18 Jeeps over the past 35 years!. Maybe no more.

CK

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: RUBICONTRAIL.NET
Jeep needs to move down market as well as move upmarket. 40 years ago, vehicles sold for less than $3,000. Today it is hard to find vehicles for even six times that. In the meantime, wages have not increased proportionally.

By introducing vehicles such as the two rumored SX-based vehicles the Jeep brand will become more available to more customers. Some of these customers may be previous Jeep customers who were priced out of the market.

Meanwhile, the increase of luxury amenities in the Grand Cherokee and the introduction of the Commander will make the lineup more present in the luxury market.

I DO think the Wrangler will be the halo product of the Jeep lineup. A fully loaded Wrangler already costs more than a fully loaded Liberty. I doubt that the Wrangler will be squeezed out of the lineup anytime soon. Doing so would alienate too many customers (not only Wrangler owners, but others who see the Wrangler as the main tie to its heritage). Also, most of the concept vehicles unveiled in recent years have all been centered around the Wrangler, showing Jeep's commitment to the model.


Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: skramblewishes
It certainly is becoming clearer and clearer that DCX will be looking to the Jeep division to help get them towards the goal of increased market share.

I certainly hope that they will use the Wrangler replacement as their "halo" product that projects what Jeep has always meant through the years. I could easily see the Wrangler being squeezed out of the product line up as DCX moves lower down in the market with the proposed Compass/Scout/Patriot vehicle being planned. Platform sharing is a nice short term solution but it comes at a price.

It is always a tough call when manufacturers chase sales numbers and are willing to dilute their brand to attain that goal. I put this out before and here it comes again:

Thirty years ago the Cadillac name was gold in the automobile industry ( I'm sure some on this site are old enough to remember products being described as the "Cadillac of this" or the Cadillac of that").

In the 80's GM decided to chase numbers and placed a Cadillac crest on a Cavalier, called it the Cimarron and received some short term sales success. GM also brand engineered other Cadillacs ( sharing design and platforms with Buick and Cadillac ) and also enjoyed some sales success with that as well.

So where is Cadillac now? It is an auto division will behind others ( Lexus, Mercedes ) and is now trying hard to develop products that stand out as premier automobiles. Cadillac is trying to become what they already were thrity years ago.

The Chrysler division is a similar tale. There was a time when Chryslers went toe to toe with Lincolns and Cadillacs. In the late seventies they moved "down market" with Cordobas and Lebarons and platform shared their products with Dodge and Plymouth. During the 80s it happened to excess.

So where is Chrysler now? DCX is working hard to convince consumers that the Chrysler division is a premier division and trying to develop product to prove it.

I have a great fear that Jeep is heading down this same path where Cadillac and Chrsyler already went. Twenty years from now will be hearing some DCX manager telling us that we need to bring Jeep back to what it once was, the go anywhere do anything feedom vehicle?

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: RUBICONTRAIL.NET
There are two ways for an automaker to make profits. The first are to sell low-volume but higher priced vehicles. The second is to sell high-volume but low priced vehicles.

The Wrangler has never been a high-volume sales force. It hovers above 50,000 units a year. Most likely the low end versions of the Wrangler would disappear and the Sport and Rubicon versions would remain. The four door versions could help them maintain the 50,000 unit level. The plant where the Wrangler is built can not handle much more production than that.

The inline six engine, while a dependable workhouse, is being discontinued because it is an old, relatively inefficient powerplant. The diesel option which will appear in more Jeep vehicles over the next few years will be the alternative for those needing low-end torque.

The SFA disappeared from the Grand Cherokee because this vehicle has ALWAYS been positioned as the luxury end of the Jeep lineup. You can not compete in the luxury SUV market if your vehicle has a rough ride. IFS allows for a much smoother ride and better handling. As proven with the AEV Mohave edition, the IFS can be upgraded for more off-road capability than what is available out of the box. If you need even more off-road capability from your luxury Grand Cherokee, you can swap the IFS for a SFA with a little work.

The SFA was not put on the Liberty and I think DCX realizes this may have been a partial mistake. Because of this they will be offering us a four door version of the Wrangler. From what we saw with the Gladiator concept, it appears the next generation of the Wrangler will keep the SFA.

Believe me, I drive a Cherokee with the 4.0L and a SFA. I love the vehicle. But I also understand DCX's business logic. The Grand Cherokee will continue to be marketed at the world's only truly off-road capable luxury SUV. I believe the next generation Wrangler, in both 2-door and 4-door, versions will be as (if not more) off-road capable than the current version.

There are no rumors of the Gladiator being SX-based. If it is built at all, it will maintain a form very close to the auto show version. Dieter Zetsche has stated Jeep worked long and hard to get the dimensions right on that concept. It had to be off-road capable but still be utilitarian enough to haul 4 x 8 material.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: ScramblerKen
I have a slightly different spin on thisÖ..

Jeep is now becoming more like Subaru. Oh boy, soft riders! Letís build a pickup truck version off the new Neon platform and say it was influenced by the Gladiator Concept. It will have a 7-slot grill!

How is having a single speed soft-rider going to help the Wrangler? The Wrangler was the entry level Jeep, but now the Wrangler will have less sales, which could mean they will offer less choice. The Wrangler sells less than 100,000 units now, and Iím sure it is a struggle to convince the suits to allow variations and other goodies. If the Wrangler is only offered in the high-end Rubicon like package, how many will sell? We have so many complain now that the Rubicon edition is too expensive.

Itís also hard to compare the International Scout with the new car platform based Jeep Scout. Other than name, they donít have anything in common. If the Neon like based Scout is only single speed 4X4 transfer case and IFS, I donít see how it will even come close to the capability of the Wrangler.

Donít get me wrong, I like to see Jeep expand, but Jeep is slowly moving away from hard-core off-road machines. We have seen the dropping of SA (Solid Axle), the demise of the inline 6 cylinder engine that had good low torque for off-roading, and now adding less capable vehicles in the line-up. If this is a hint at the direction Jeep is going, I donít see them investing a lot into true off-road machines. With all this change and expansion, the classic off-road Wrangler could be moving on out.

By the way, a couple of new Rumor tid-bits. Looks like the next gen Wrangler will be code named JK, not TK. Also, rumor has it that we will see the 4-door Wrangler first, and later in the year, they will release the 2-door model. Of course, the way DCX feels about 2-door models, the 2-door Wrangler might disappear.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Mike #2
WTK, take a look at the COMMANDER fuel cell concept truck. I think it also looks similar to the WK Cherokee...

Other Jeep Balls Dropped...

VARSITY
JEEPSTER
DAKAR
WILLYS
ICON

Balls best left in the neighbors yard...

ECCO
TREO




Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Mike
Jeep is still dropping the ball BIG-TIME by not building the WILLYS concept. I hope that at least some of it's styling makes it to the Scout/Patriot platform....and yes I agree, having a low-end soft-roader will push the Wrangler higher up the food-chain and be more off-road oriented.

Hopefully, the new Scout will not be TOO soft...We owned a Scout in the late 70's and it was pretty tough, so it has some history of it's own to uphold...Remember, Jeep introduced the SUV craze with the Cherokee in the early 80's (I remember the PIONEER nameplate), but the Scout II predated that, and never really got the respect it deserved.

I would have to say that a top of the line Scout should be at least as capable as a current base model TJ Wrangler, and the new TK should take up where the TJ Rubicon leaves off.

Let's hope soft-roader means soft like a medicine ball

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: WTJ
In my area of southeastern Wisconsin, I have not spotted too
many WK Grand Cherokees since release for public sale.
However, I notice, while in motion, they look confusedly similar
to ZJ Grand Cherokees, both from a front and rear vantage point,
at moderate to far away distances. Not until reaching close
proximity to the WK actually reveal the design dissimilarities
between it and the ubiquitous ZJ.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: OnlyOneJeep
No, I'n not saying that. I was just stating an observation. In my opinion ( I own a '93 Limited 5.2-and a '95 YJ) that the consumer masses are NOT taking to the '05 GC as the orig '93 did..That's QUITE obvious; as I'm NOT the only poster that feels this way.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: ?
So whats your point? Jeep should stop making everything but the Rubicon??

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: OnlyOneJeep
Was at the annual 2005 New Car show in my area....Jeep had an OK display..though the RUBI wasn't on it's rock crawling display this year. Display was quite tepid and lacking luster. Had 3 Liberty; 3 Wrangler and a RUBI and 3 Grand Cherokees...I stood and watched the movement of the crowds as they approached..Wranglers drew the MOST gawkers and kickers 60 /hr.. Liberty was a close second at close to 45/hr.. And NOT surprising to me>>> The GC only drew a third of Liberty's traffic...And the GC was on a turnstile to boot...maybe saw 15/17../hr...what a LAME DUCK that GC is...Also had the "Jeepster" concept with the H.O. 4.7 V-8...less people than the GC looked at that even...and it was in the front!...so it goes.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: XJameson
"A Jeep sport utility vehicle, named Patriot or Scout" - This is excellent news for the Wrangler. It sounds like this vehicle will be in the Wrangler's class, but will be more of a soft-roader. This would allow Jeep to push the Wrangler more towards a tougher off-road vehicle (like the Rubicon) without worrying about losing the group of people that don't want to pay for an off-road equipped Jeep.
Main Menu
JeepNewsNow Everywhere
Login
Username:

Password:


Lost Password?

Register now!
Jeep Classifieds
Syndication - RSS
Add Jeep News Headlines to your site for free!

Display the latest Jeep news headlines on your Web site using our RSS 2.0 news feed!

RSS 2.0

Or, if you prefer, an even easier way of putting the headlines on your Web site is to utilize our free, JavaScript-based headlines. Check them out!
Who's Online
7 user(s) are online (1 user(s) are browsing News)

Members: 0
Guests: 7

more...
Advertisements
mike's totally free jeep news now is designed and maintained by AnelloConsulting.com
Copyright © 1998-2010 mike's totally free jeep news now
Privacy Policy | Disclaimer | Advertising Info