|7-seat Commander in 2005, Compass-like Jeep to share platform with the next Neon|
The Detroit News pulled out all the stops and posted a comprehensive story about the future expansion of the Jeep brand:
After a few quiet years, Jeep is about to make some noise.
By the end of 2006, the brand will double its lineup, adding three all-new sport utility vehicles to help DaimlerChrysler AGís Chrysler Group regain its dominance in a vehicle category it helped to create.
In the next two years, Jeep plans to introduce a seven-seat luxury SUV known as the Commander that will share an underbody with the Jeep Grand Cherokee; a four-door version of the classic Wrangler open-top; and an entry-level SUV based on the Compass concept unveiled at the Detroit auto show in 2002.
He said the Commander will debut at the 2005 New York International Auto Show in March and hit the market next summer. It will be built at Chryslerís Jefferson North Assembly Plant in Detroit.
The four-door Wrangler-like model is expected to begin production in 2006, at Chryslerís Toledo South Assembly Plant in Ohio, which will undergo a $900 million renovation starting this fall. A totally redesigned version of the Wrangler will also be made there.
The Compass-based Jeep, to be built on the same underpinnings as the Dodge Neon compact car, is expected to be built at Chryslerís Belvidere, Ill. Neon factory and hit the market during the next two years. Chrysler is jointly developing a replacement for the Neon with Mitsubishi Motors Corp., which is partly owned by DaimlerChrysler. Zetsche said the Neon replacement will likely get a new name when it is launched next year.
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