|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.
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:
Detroit Free Press