Jeep plans subcompact, 3 vehicles on Fiat platforms
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In the next three years, Jeep will extend its lineup with a new subcompact and a revived Grand Wagoneer. It will also build three vehicles on Fiat platforms.
Despite the significant model changes, Jeep will strive to remain true to its off-road heritage.
Subcompact: In 2009, Chrysler product planning chief Joseph Veltri outlined plans for a Jeep subcompact built on a Fiat platform. In April, Jeep brand CEO Michael Manley confirmed the so called B-Jeep would debut in late 2013 or early 2014, likely as a 2014 model. The smallest Jeep will be designed for the North American and Latin American markets and made in Toluca, Mexico, where Chrysler now builds the Fiat 500 and Dodge Journey.
Compass: The Compass got a face-lift in 2011 and now resembles a smaller version of the flagship Grand Cherokee. Chrysler's five-year plan calls for replacing the Compass and Patriot with a compact based on Fiat's compact CUSW platform in 2013, likely as a 2014 model. The vehicle will be built for global markets, including North America, at Fiat's Mirafiori plant in Turin, Italy. The replacement vehicle will share many components and systems with the Alfa Romeo C-SUV that will be built in Mirafiori by the end of 2012. The vehicle will be offered with all-wheel and front-wheel drive, Manley said.
Patriot: Chrysler's product plan calls just one vehicle to replace the Compass and Patriot siblings in 2013. Based on the investment the company made in the Compass, look for the Patriot to disappear after the Compass switches to Fiat's compact CUSW platform in 2013.
Liberty: The Liberty was one of the few vehicles left basically untouched in Chrysler's 2011 product rejuvenation program. Getting the Liberty replacement right is now a major priority for Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne. The Liberty competes in a crucial segment against such crossovers as the Ford Edge and Honda Pilot.
The Liberty replacement is scheduled to be launched in 2013, likely as a 2014 model, on a version of Fiat's compact CUSW platform called CUSW Plus. The model will remain awd only, though the platform could accommodate a front-drive only version.
Grand Cherokee: Remains basically unchanged over the next three years. Six cylinder versions of the Grand Cherokee will eventually get Chrysler's eight-speed automatic transmission.
Grand Wagoneer: In January, CEO Sergio Marchionne said a seven-seat Grand Wagoneer would be coming in 2013. The biggest Jeep would share a platform with the Dodge Durango and become the most expensive vehicle in the Jeep stable. It will likely be a 2014 model.
You can reach Bradford Wernle at firstname.lastname@example.org.