NEW YORK -- The redesigned Jeep Wrangler debuting next year will retain an important styling characteristic: boxiness.
The reason? In Jeep's view, that design element is needed to retain Wrangler's primary buyers - men. It also will help differentiate the four-door Liberty from a similar-sized addition to the Wrangler line expected next year, a four-door model. All Wranglers now have two doors.
While not confirming the timing for the redesigned Wrangler or the four-door model, Joe Eberhardt, Chrysler group executive vice president of global sales and marketing, said the Liberty and Wrangler will continue to be styled and engineered for two different groups.
Eberhardt said last week at the New York auto show that the Wrangler "is extremely off-road capable and attracts a very different target audience today" from that of the Liberty. "It is much younger; it is much less family-oriented."
He said: "I think that will continue, if not even be further enhanced, with the new Wrangler."
Most Wrangler buyers are male. Most Liberty buyers are women, Eberhardt said. Women like "the Jeep brand imagery and attitude," he said, "and they want it in a more rounded, more modernistic type of vehicle. That would be Liberty and Grand Cherokee."
Eberhardt called the styling of the Wrangler and the 2006 Jeep Commander "a more classic, iconic design" that appeals to men. The tall, slab-sided 2006 Commander draws on styling cues last seen on the discontinued Jeep Cherokee. The Commander debuted Wednesday, March 23, at the New York auto show.
"Typically, things that are more boxy, more upright, seem to (attract) a younger, more male audience than things that are a little rounder," Eberhardt said. "So I think they are significantly different buyers today, and we certain intend to maintain that."
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