Front-Wheel Drive Jeep?
Date 2004/4/6 0:00:00 | Topic: Miscellaneous
|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. 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.
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.
"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.