Under the DaimlerChrysler marriage, Jeep’s lineup expanded from three to a total of seven models. Since 2005, the brand has added the Commander, Compass, Patriot and the Wrangler Unlimited. Along with the Grand Cherokee, Liberty and Wrangler, analysts are saying that Jeep seriously needs to consider shrinking its lineup.
“How fractionally are you going to slice this pie?” Todd Turner, president of CarConcepts, told Automotive News. According to Turner it doesn’t make sense to have seven models compete with each other fight for an advertising budget.
Jeep’s director of marketing and global communications, John Plecha, disagrees. He believes the Jeep brand had to expand into new SUV segments to meet consumer demand. Plecha says that since most Americans don’t go off-roading, Jeep added smaller and more practical models.
There is talk of Chrysler killing the HUMMER fighter, Commander in 2009. Inside sources say that Chrysler is even considering dropping the slow-selling Compass crossover.
In the mean time, Chrysler is having a hard time keeping up with the demand for Wrangler and hopes that the 2008 Jeep Liberty causes the same affect.
Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
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