Chrysler/Jeep held an 8-hour press conference on November 4th while I was at the SEMA show, talking about the focus that they are putting on the company in the next few years. Some interesting stuff came out of the conference, which I’ve pasted in for you to read about the future of Jeep.
If nothing else, I’m RELIEVED to hear that there is indeed no IFS and/or IRS suspension’d Wrangler being released any time soon. I’m not surprised that the Compass and Patriot will be s-canned, frankly…they never seemed to me to fit the Jeep lineup in any way.
It sounds like Jeep may go a bit more grass-roots, and focus more on Jeep Clubs, which would be really cool, and will most certainly build brand loyalty (read the last entry).
I think Fiat is going to add something to this struggling company; however, will they become the savior of Jeep/ChryCo? Fiat is not the crappy company they were in the 70’s, moniker’d “Fix It Again, Tony”. I drove a Fiat last time I was in Europe, and it was a solid car with good acceleration, a great little diesel engine that got around 40mpg, and was pretty damned comfortable.
Anyway, here’s the raw comments from the Press Release minutes…
Michael Manley, Jeep
- Brand loyalty for Jeep has fallen. Was #1 SUV brand in world, now #3.
- Need to communicate with customers much more, do it consistently.
- Will build and grow to 800,000 units by 2014.
- Will connect with doers (who need a Jeep) and dreamers (who want the authentic equipment).
- Will create new Jeep brand image, connect via lifestyle, deliver a clear call for action (get out and do stuff! …in a Jeep).
- Will cover B through E segments. Each line will have “Trail Rated” model for best off road capability in its segment. Wrangler will be same as always: body-on-frame, with solid front and rear axles.
- New = Grand Cherokee Q2 2010.
- Compass, Patriot dropped. Liberty kept.
- Showrooms will be redesigned for brand.
- Will get more involved in social media.
- Interact with customers at grass roots level, Jeep Club will be created.
You can read the full article here: