The Chrysler group plans to expand the Jeep line with a high-end nameplate that will share a platform with the redesigned Grand Cherokee.
The unnamed vehicle will debut in 2005 or 2006, a company source says. It will help the automaker fill its Detroit assembly plant, where the Grand Cherokee is the sole product.
A redesigned Grand Cherokee will debut next year as a 2005 model. There will be "another vehicle off of that platform," said the Chrysler group source, who asked not to be identified.
Asked if the unnamed vehicle would be priced above the Grand Cherokee, he said, "It could be, (but) I consider a Grand Cherokee a high-end Jeep."
In addition, Chrysler hopes to generate more Jeep sales by producing derivatives from one or two platforms.
In July 2004, the first of several additional Jeep models is expected to debut. The two-passenger Jeep Scrambler will sit on a stretched Wrangler chassis with a 4-foot pickup bed. It was first developed for military applications outside the United States.
Jeep also will offer an entry-level SUV aimed at younger buyers that will be based on either the Compass or Willys 2 concept vehicles. A source says the entry SUV is scheduled for either 2005 or 2006 and will be based on the Wrangler or Liberty platform.