By on July 24, 2010

Chrysler is taking a page out of Ford’s playbook and will surprise and delight Japan with their  “latest version of the Jeep Grand Cherokee sport utility vehicle, which features Chrysler’s new Pentastar 3.6-liter V-6 engine,” if The Nikkei [sub] is not mistaken.

Chrysler Japan has hopes  for the new Grand Cherokee that was just release in the U.S. As a nod to the thrifty and CO2 conscious Japanese, Chrysler points out that the Pentastar V6, gives the Grand Cherokee boasts 30 percent better fuel economy than the existing Grand Cherokee with a 4.7-liter V-8 engine. Overabundant horsepower will be sacrificed.

According to the Nikkei, “Chrysler Group plans to switch to the new engine in other models that now use other V-6 engines, and Chrysler Japan will release these vehicles here as they become available.”

Chrysler Japan has boutique status in Japan. Their sales in 2009 were around 1,800. Says the Nikkei: “By emphasizing the Jeep brand, Chrysler Japan aims to boost overall sales to the 5,000-unit level in 2014.” Audacious plans.

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13 Comments on “Chrysler Sends The Cherokees To Japan...”

  • avatar

    I was under the impression that Japanese love small cars (ie kei cars). I fail to see why would they want this when they’re mostly urban with ~$9 gas price and bullet trains if it’s rural.

    I guess their low target makes sense but they ain’t going no where with it. They’re not Aston Martin >_>;;

    • 0 avatar

      4×4’s are pretty darned popular in Japan. The Safari (Patrol), Terrano (Pathfinder), Surf (4-Runnder), and Landcruiser all flood into NZ as used imports. From my feel they’re sold in Japan on the “lifestyle” concept, similar to most of the rest of the developed world where they never go off-road.

  • avatar

    Cherokee nation, Cherokee tribe?

    • 0 avatar
      Robert Schwartz

      “Indian Reservation”
      Words and Music by John D. Loudermilk
      performed by Paul Revere and the Raiders

      They took the whole Cherokee nation
      Put us on this reservation
      Took away our ways of life
      The tomahawk and the bow and knife
      Took away our native tongue
      And taught their English to our young
      And all the beads we made by hand
      Are nowadays made in Japan

      Cherokee people, Cherokee tribe
      So proud to live, so proud to die

      They took the whole Indian nation
      Locked us on this reservation
      Though I wear a shirt and tie
      I’m still part redman deep inside

      Cherokee people, Cherokee tribe
      So proud to live, so proud to die

      But maybe someday when they learn
      Cherokee nation will return, [repeat and fade]…

      *’Cherokee’ is Creek* for ‘people with another language’.
      White settlers named the Creek Indians after Ocmulgee Creek in Georgia. They originally called themselves Isti or Istichata, but began to identify themselves as Muskogee soon after Europeans arrived.

    • 0 avatar

      That song popped into my head as soon as I read ‘Cherokee Nation’ as well. Although I could have sworn it was by Redbone, guess I was wrong.

  • avatar

    The old (non-Grand) Cherokee was sold and manufactured in China for many years. Sounds like its about time.

  • avatar

    Sales of 5,000 won’t mean that they are conquering the market. Trophy sales.
    I think I read elsewhere that the Grand Cherokee won’t have a right-hand drive version? This will also not enhance its sales. They drive on the left in Japan.

  • avatar

    I just got back to the US, I was in Okayama and Takamatsu, both somewhat rural Japanese cities.

    Lots of Chryslers there (in relation to any other American car)

    lots of Jeeps and Cherokees, i did see a right hand Cherokee it was older though

    I saw some 300cs as well and a Challenger.

  • avatar

    I think it is sort of a status symbol to drive an American or German car in Japan, at least it seemed so from my experience there. Just like it is a cool to drive a RHD Skyline in the US. LHD and all is part of the appeal.

    But there are few buyers looking for that sort of experience and the headaches in service and running cost that come with it. This is not a practical product for Japanese consumers.

    • 0 avatar

      American cars a status symbol in Japan? When were you there? After WW 2 ?

      Currently, BMW’s and Porsches are a status symbol. Alfas and Maserati have a small, dedicated following. Big Mercedes, especially black, are driven by heavily tattooed people who have the pinky cut off (aka the Yakuza) Sure, weird stuff like the Astro Van have a car otaku cult following. Overall, U.S. cars are sneered at in the land of Nippon. Annual sales around 10K.

  • avatar
    Sam P

    “I think I read elsewhere that the Grand Cherokee won’t have a right-hand drive version? This will also not enhance its sales. They drive on the left in Japan.”

    Considering that Jeep builds right hand drive versions for the UK market, they’d be stupid to sell a left hand drive Grand Cherokee in Japan.

    Australia as well:

  • avatar

    I’m surprised at 1800 sales, honestly I am. Freaking Nitros are everywhere in Tokyo. I think they drive more Liberties and Nitros than Suburbans and Hummers put together. At first I took pictures in surprise but it was useless: too many. Maybe their sales nosedived in the recent years.

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