|Marketing to focus less on off-road prowness|
The Detroit News is running an article about the 2005 Grand Cherokee and how DaimlerChrysler is marketing the vehicle by focusing more on the "softer side". Here's a snippet:
U.S. car buyers are about to meet the softer side of Jeep.
Marketing teams at the Chrysler Group are readying a new and perhaps risky sales pitch for the redesigned 2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee sport utility vehicle that will make the famously rugged vehicle a little more civilized.
In new advertisements launching with the Grand Cherokee in October, DaimlerChrysler AG’s Chrysler Group is expected to position the SUV as a vehicle that is as comfortable on the streets of suburbia as it is on the trail.
The all-things-to-all-people approach says a lot about the new challenges Jeep faces in marketing the Grand Cherokee, the once-dominant SUV that has lost ground to new competitors in recent years.
It’s the latest piece of a long-range effort, launched with the arrival of Chrysler CEO Dieter Zetsche in 2000, to find a wider audience for the Jeep brand. Three new Jeep vehicles are expected within the next two to three years to bolster the plan.
“The challenge with Jeep is two-fold,” said George Murphy, senior vice president of global brand marketing for the Chrysler Group. “One, is to continue to reinforce its off-road heritage and the other is to help us position it on-road.”
Both messages are expected to show up in advertising for the 2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee. For instance, Jeep will boast that the new Grand Cherokee is “Trail Rated.” Last year, the new off-road-ready stamp replaced the long-held claim that every Jeep has mastered California’s brutal Rubicon Trail and riled Jeep purists. But ads will also highlight cushy features never before seen on Jeep vehicles — such as a rear-seat DVD player and a navigation system. A V-8 Hemi engine option will also be available.
Be sure to read the entire article - <shameless plug>there's a quote in there from some dude named "Michael" who runs a Jeep Enthusiast Web site</shameless plug>