Jeep’s current lineup contains a mix of traditional truck-based SUVs as well as smaller car-based offerings. Following Fiat’s acquisition of Chrysler, the Italian automaker’s influence will make its way to Jeep with a new crop of car-based SUV offerings.
The big news at Jeep is the upcoming proliferation of Fiat platforms to replace aging models. The current Patriot and Compass car-based SUVs will be replaced by at least one vehicle on the Italian automaker’s Compact Wide platform. As we previously reported, Chrysler-Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne is banking on “aggressive” timing for a successful launch, and the new vehicle should hit the market by 2013. Until then, each fraternal twin will receive a freshening, and the Compass may be dropped as early as next year.
The next generation of the compact Liberty SUV will also receive a Fiat donor platform. Jeep has unveiled plans for an additional small, Fiat-based crossover with a 2013 launch date, but few details have emerged on the endeavor.
Untouched by Fiat — at least for the time being — are the Grand Cherokee and Wrangler. The recently launched 2011 Grand Cherokee, which uses mechanicals from Chrysler’s last European nuptials, will be part of Jeep’s plan to boost Chrysler’s presence overseas. An updated exterior, color-matched hardtops, and the addition of the same 3.6-liter 280-horsepower V-6 found in the Grand Cherokee round out the changes for 2011 Wrangler models.
The larger goal of the updated Jeep lineup is to sell nearly 800,000 models a year worldwide by 2014. With Jeep’s 2009 sales closer to 300,000, is the target too high?
Source: Automotive News (Subscription required)