By on January 31, 2013

TTAC alum Justin Berkowitz hit the jackpot with Chrysler, managing to make sense of the umpteenth new product rollout they’ve announced since getting in bed with Fiat, and  posting the most accurate rendering of the new Jeep Liberty replacement (according to TTAC sources, it is dead on).

Apparently, Fiat will get five new models by 2015, though the brand has a habit of counting variants like the 500C and Abarth as separate models. Reports stated that Fiat is re-aligning their product range to include only variants of the 500 and Panda, however, our sources at Fiat scoffed at the notion during discussions with them at NAIAS. Apparently, eliminating all but two models would leave Fiat without the capability to produce enough volume globally. Fiat would also be left with even more excess capacity, and a lineup unsuited to markets in South America, where Fiat’s lineup is tailored to market conditions. What will apparently happen is that future models will take their cues from the 500 and Panda, though it’s hard to imagine how something like the Viaggio, a rebadged Dodge Dart, will do so. Playing the future product guessing game is too much of a crapshoot, but Fiat still has the Panda, Punto and Bravo in its stable. Who knows if this will even materialize. Previous reports suggested that an additional model, possibly the Punto or Panda, would come to Canada.

The other big story were the rash of delays; Alfa’s mainstream products won’t arrive until 2015, Jeep’s product onslaught is being staggered (new Liberty this year, Compass/Patroit next year, unnamed vehicle in 2015), as is Chrysler’s (new 200 in 2014, new 100 hatchback, new crossover and an unnamed model in 2015). Minivan plans seem to change by the hour, with nobody quite sure whether the Grand Caravan or Town & Country will be alive, dead, with sliding doors or turned into a crossover – it depends on the day. Dodge is now devoid of a new B-segment car and Avenger replacement. The mid-size Ram lifestyle pickup looks to be DOA, while a new Fiat-based large van will debut at Chicago.

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96 Comments on “Chrysler Re-Jigs Their Product Lineup Yet Again...”


  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Looks a bit like the uglier half sister of the Ford Edge.

    • 0 avatar
      N8iveVA

      The proportions are odd, but i find it…. um… interesting

    • 0 avatar
      billfrombuckhead

      It will be called Cherokee and they won’t be able to build enough. Baby Pentastar, 9 speed automatic and optional 4×4 with low range.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        “Baby Pentastar, 9 speed automatic and optional 4×4 with low range”

        See that sounds pretty good (esp if there’s real 4×4), therefore it won’t be allowed to happen… or as you pointed out, happen in great quantity.

        I’ve come to the conclusion that for at least the 2013 to 2016 period, the domestics won’t be giving you what you actually want in a Car/SUV/CUV, so power > 4cyl, true 4×4, true seating for 5-7, and vast interior comfort won’t be allowed to happen. I think they are trying to emulate Toyonda from five years ago (trendy, car frames, <=4 cyl OHC with no low end power, ugly styling), and Toyonda is starting to chase Hyundai, who actually is blazing a path, somewhat.

        Anybody have an un-hooned 4.9 Deville they’d like to part with? Also take a last gen Riv.

      • 0 avatar
        azmtbkr81

        Wishful thinking my friend. It will likely be car based with a 4 cylinder engine, CVT, and an optional limp-wristed FWD biased AWD system with a tough name like “UberCommando-TRAC MK IV.” Oh and 20in wheels shod with low profile tires.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Exactly azmtbkr81, we won’t sell you what you want, now buy this [insert model name] and like it. Progress!

        Detroit should just run an ad saying: “all of your cars are belong to us”.

      • 0 avatar
        corntrollio

        “I think they are trying to emulate Toyonda from five years ago (trendy, car frames, 4cyl, true 4×4, true seating for 5-7, and vast interior comfort won’t be allowed to happen”

        There are very few “true” 4x4s any more.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Agreed and it was Detroit who were the last to build them en-masse.

      • 0 avatar
        corntrollio

        Well, Detroit is only Jeep if you don’t want a full-size SUV. But Toyota, Nissan, Land Rover/Range Rover, and even VW will help you out if you want something smaller than a full-size.

      • 0 avatar
        billfrombuckhead

        Yes it will be front wheel drive car based but it will have actual 4 wheel drive as an option, it will have an improved smaller displacement variation of the very successful Pentastar V6 and has good departure angles. 9 speed and 6 speed real automatics will be available and not a CVT in sight. A real follow up to the great Grand Cherokee.

        Allpar has actual pictures and videos of this new Cherokee driving around. It’s very cool and built in Toledo Ohio with motors from Michigan and 9 speeds from Indiana.

      • 0 avatar
        Skink

        “Baby Pentastar, 9 speed automatic and optional 4×4 with low range”

        Who are you quoting?

        Or just making a lame straw man argument?

      • 0 avatar
        azmtbkr81

        Good info Bill, thanks. I read the Allpar article and I’m still not very impressed – the Cherokee is after all a lifted car and I suspect it’ll ultimately have capability similar to that of a Subaru Outback.

        Sure it may receive a trail-rated badge but I question whether the Cherokee or any CUV with off-road pretensions can withstand daily abuse on rough roads and the occasional rock strike to the undercarriage.

        Let Dodge build build CUVs for middle aged women with bad knees who need something to cart their golden retrievers to the dog park; Jeep should be the domain of capable, tough, off-road oriented vehicles.

        We may be in a golden age of horsepower but these are dark times indeed for those who need the capability and utility of a true SUV.

      • 0 avatar
        vwbora25

        Detroit is not Jeep, they have suburban yukon tahoe twins

    • 0 avatar
      MeaCulpa

      Aztek by Chrysler?!?!

      • 0 avatar
        billfrombuckhead

        Lot’s of in depth information about the gorgeous new Cherokee on Allpar and spy pictures on autoevolution. Allpar even has a diagram of the newly patented 4×4 system.

        http://www.allpar.com/SUVs/jeep/2014-cherokee.html

  • avatar

    Whatever happened to round headlights on Jeeps? I like round headlights. Bring back round headlights.

  • avatar
    Speed3

    What!?! No Alfa’s untill 2015!?! I just want a Giuletta, is that so hard! #willbemopingfortherestoftheday

  • avatar
    corntrollio

    Seems like it’d be a bad idea to kill their minivans? They’re the only Detroit choice these days vs. Sienna and Odyssey.

    I suppose keeping a minivan and a 7-seat crossover based on the same platform would be an Aztek Two-Step.

    • 0 avatar
      mike978

      The plans I had read about a while back were that the Grand Caravan would stay as a conventional minivan and the Town and Country would move to some “upmarket” CUV type thing. What the plan is, who knows but I can see the sense in not having two essentially identical minivans in the same showroom from two different brands as is the case now.

      As for the Liberty picture – OMG at the front end, especially the curved grill onto the hood and the lights. I hope it doesn`t look like that in reality. It doesn`t look like a Jeep, more like a Hyundai.

      • 0 avatar
        gslippy

        That thing resembles a Kia Sportage.

      • 0 avatar
        corntrollio

        “It doesn`t look like a Jeep, more like a Hyundai.”

        Funny, that was my first thought too.

        “the Town and Country would move to some “upmarket” CUV type thing.”

        Oh right, I think Sergio already said that. Some have pointed to the Chrysler 700C concept, and others have stated it might be Pacifica-looking.

        Then the T&C will have gone through the fashions — wagon –> minivan –> CUV.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Hopefully the cycle resets back to wagon after CUV.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    Aw look at the little Predator-face Jeep.

    If cars could make noises, that one would go “JHEEE-HEEEEJEEE!”

    Also the side profile looks like the Edge.

  • avatar
    k9H20

    Looks a little like the Vehicross.

  • avatar
    Skink

    It has that bulldog underbite thing a la the new Toyota RAV4. The bent-back seven slots have a 1970s Olds Cutlass waterfall look. I do like the relatively low sill on the windows between C- and D- pillars, which afford better rear quarter visibility than most other vehicles in the segment. The triangular swept-back headlights don’t belong on a Jeep. The front end styling is such a jumble of conflicting elements; it looks like a Chinese effort.

    The arched roofline? Whah?

    Can you build an aerodynamic Jeep? Should you? Must you?

    • 0 avatar

      Lemme spell it: C-A-F-E.

      • 0 avatar
        Skink

        I hear you. It’s the way of the world. They’re beveling off the front corners, and doing the Kamm roofline. OK.

        Here’s how to fix it the styling muddle. Instead of the swept up triangular headlights, do oval swept back headlights that would look like round headlights from straight ahead. Cut off the swept back upper portion of the grille slots, and bring the hood forward. I can live with the roofline. Done.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Here’s another possible spelling: J-U-N-K

        Jeep would have been wise to at least style the thing different than everything else in the segment. This looks like every other Fake UV on the road. Why buy this over Ford, GM, Mazda, or Toyonda?

        The previous styling of the Compass (to be “new” and “cute”) Patriot (to look like Cherokee) seemed to have payed off for the previous Chrysler. I suppose this lesson was lost on the merger.

  • avatar
    Summicron

    Nothing says snap-together like black plastic on a red body.

  • avatar

    I thought Liberty were to be euthanised, instead of changing the platform. Now they are having 3 cross-overs in the same market: Patriot, Compass, and Liberty. Before, it was tough to understand why there are two. The 2011 refresh of Compass tried to make a “pretend GC” out of it, which I suppose is an answer, but they had to make it more difficult again.

  • avatar
    jco

    oh no. that looks like a video game polygon vehicle. ughz.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    Appears I’m in the minority. I LOVE the look of the new Liberty. I suspect round headlights and the flat surfaces required to have them have died due to pedestrian impact rules.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      “I suspect round headlights and the flat surfaces required to have them have died due to pedestrian impact rules.”

      That makes me want to drive one of these dull looking things down a city sidewalk GTA style, let’s use those great new impact features!

  • avatar
    iNeon

    What part of render isn’t everyone understanding? Even good-looking cars can look poor when they’re computer modeled.

    Wrangler wore this grille whenever it had square headlights, and I can’t believe they’ll bring back cladding. It’s too passé.

    • 0 avatar
      Skink

      No, Jeep has never angled back a portion of the seven slot grille. This sucks. They need to keep the slots on one plane. No kink. No waterfall.

      • 0 avatar
        iNeon

        Yes, Jeep has. It’s quite an old styling element, actually.

        YJ, Comanche, Original Cherokee– compact Cherokee. They all wore it.

        Check yourself before you wreck yourself.

      • 0 avatar
        Skink

        Nope, you’re wrong. They’ve been angled back or forward off upright, or curved back a bit, but never kinked. Check your own self, homie.

      • 0 avatar
        iNeon

        Ex. 1: http://socalfsj.servebbs.net/storage052/internet_available/temp/jeep_cherokee_beach.jpg

        Ex. 2: http://gomotors.net/pics/Jeep/jeep-comanche-04.jpg

        Ex. 3: http://all-carz.com/data_images/jeep-yj-wrangler-rio-grande/jeep-yj-wrangler-rio-grande-02.jpg

        Ex. 4: http://image.jpmagazine.com/f/9295282/154_0609_03_z+1987_jeep_xj+side_view_bright_wood.jpg

        Again: what part of ‘render’ do you not understand? This wagon wears an update of the numerous grilles linked above. You are either being intentionally obtuse, or are simply unable to see past a badly-rendered non-chrysler Photoshop.

  • avatar

    This is not part of the current conversation but I just read in the Detroit News that GM has a recall on some Chev models ie Malibu 2013 and some 2012 and also some Vibes from the same years as the Toyota recalls, anyone know?

  • avatar
    Athos Nobile

    “Alfa’s mainstream products won’t arrive until 2015″ if they ever… I guess they don’t have the money to go forward with this. It is a shame to see such a noble brand die this way.

    Derek, is the 5y plan available in Chrysler’s site? I could download the full ’09 one from there.

    • 0 avatar
      MeaCulpa

      What SHOULD happen to alfa is getting sold to Volkswagen, who will let them build cars on Audi’s platform but with RWD and unique engines. Let them be Italian by letting the Italians fiddle with the settings and let the interior be “italian” aka cheap as hell.

      • 0 avatar

        what a nightmare. That’d be the final nail in alfa’s coffin. As is, we can at least fool ourselves into thinking alfa has a future.

      • 0 avatar
        Skink

        Marcelo, If Jeep is going to succeed at home, it must remain true to its legacy and its brand. It’s not going to succeed by appealing to those who want feminine, sensuous sheetmetal. jeep may sponsor soccer, but they’d be fools to distort Jeep styling to fit some effeminate foreign preferences. That’s the real world, son.

      • 0 avatar

        foreigner=effeminate…ok. If that’s the starting point, it’ll be very difficult to debate anything with you. My point is that, unfortunately I stress, it seems American brands’ legacy and heritage only appelas to the American public. And not a whole lot of Americans either. Many Americans have jumped on the foreign car bandwagon. You may not have noticed but the world has changed, America itself has changed. The developed world now buys more cars than WEurope, NAmerica and Japan (ask Bertel). If American brands are gong to succeed they must appeal to those effeminate foreigners too. Huge cars, huge V8s, meh handling and acres of chrome ain’t gonna do it.

        Jeep should probably have 2 lines. Some X, G, F (pick a letter) hardcore 4×4 thng and another one that’s more urban. That could be a way forward.

  • avatar
    indi500fan

    Kia + Jeep grille – quality

    Go Sergio!

  • avatar
    azmtbkr81

    Another one bites the dust. Will the indignities never cease?

  • avatar
    Lorenzo

    It looks very much like Sergio shoots from the lip and production straightens him out later. It also could be there’s a battle going on for resources/design between the Fiat engineers who don’t know how to build an American car and the Chrysler faithful who do. I’d guess both factors are in play.

  • avatar
    AJ

    I totally agree that it looks like a Kia with Jeep grille. What a joke.

    I like the current Grand Cherokee, but the updated lights for the 2014 make it worse. Where the hell are the round headlights, or at least something round? Didn’t they study their history with the YJ and it’s square headlights?

    I will never sell my TJ…

  • avatar

    What you guys must understand is that Jeep now will wade into the waters of the international market. International markets have no idea that a Jeep should have square or round headlights, butch lines or whatever. International markets have a vague memmory of Jeeps from the war and in many places the name Jeep meant cars somewhat similar to what later became known as SUV. That’s why this could well be close to what eventually comes about.

    Jeep now sponsors Fiat’s soccer team Juventus!

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Great point Marcelo. Given the international exposure though I would think Jeep would want its styling to be very “macho”, “powerful”, and “American” in its looks if that makes any sense to you. If you are going into a market such as Europe or Brazil, wouldn’t you want your ‘American’ made product to stand out as opposed to just blending in?

      • 0 avatar

        DOn’t really know. I for one love the look of American cars. Very bold and striking. However, I think most people are into the swoopy lines right now. Hyundai’s design is all that according to people here. So that’s probably where international design is heading. For better or worse.

        My kind of SUV would be the old Cherokee Sport, but I realize that’s just me.

        Also, for the prices these things would probably fetch here and other markets, they have an uphill struggle against the Germans. I think the Germans have that bold statement down. I really don’t know how much the International market would understand American style bold.

        And that’s a shame.

    • 0 avatar
      MeaCulpa

      What? CJ is still what most people associate with jeep. This thing has no USPs styling wise.

    • 0 avatar
      Skink

      They’re just pissing away the Jeep brand. Jeep isn’t soccer. Jeep is bad roads and minnow buckets.

      • 0 avatar

        Welcome to the brave new world my friend. If you haven’t noticed, the world is moving on. I read somewhere in the press here that China will pass the US in economic size during Obama’s tenure. Jeep has to be where the action’s at. Go international or go bust. They have no other way than to move forward. Ditto to Cadillac. A world Cadillac needs more than a v8 and effortless acceleration. This, like the Cadillac reviewed by Michael Karesh here recently, shows there’s hope for the American car companies yet. What has worked in America for so long (and is now not working so hot anymore now is it?) definitely will not in the rest of the world. You may like it or not, but American companies are moving forward. Hope to God American consumers will follow.

        Take that however you like it.

      • 0 avatar
        azmtbkr81

        You’ve brought a tear to my eye Marcelo! I hear what you are saying but it I just don’t see how it makes sense for Jeep to convert the Liberty into a yet another me-too CUV – domestically or internationally. Doing so will damage the Jeep brand as Skink suggests and when CUVs are no longer cool (that day can’t come soon enough) what will Jeep be left with?

        The US, Brazil, and China are all very large countries with millions of acres of wilderness and rough roads, is a tall car with low profile tires that cringes at the sight of a mud puddle really the answer to growing international demand?

      • 0 avatar

        Hey azmtbkr81!

        Sorry about that! The problem with these rugged 4×4 is that they weigh a ton, are inefficient, the maintenance is a nightmare and the initial pricing is for rich people only. Not so well off people that regularly face mud, dirt roads and potholes in Brazil either buy decades old PUs (F1000, Chevy D20) and keep ‘em alive forever, or make do with the 4×2 on stilts available at lower prices (Fiat Adventure line, small pickuplets that carry a load as heavy as a Ranger can). We have a saying in Brazil, quem não tem cão, caza com gato (he who doesn’t have a dog hunts with a cat). That means you make do with what you have.

        Sport off roading is a pursuit of the well off here. They can afford the Land Rovers and Jeeps. The rest can’t. Look no further than the worldwide (in Europe too) success of the Renault/Dacia Duster. Just a Sandero on stilts, it gives you the image and imprssion of ruggedness. That’s all we have money for.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Marcelo, how wide is the price gap between something like this in and a rugged 4×4 platform in Brazil today (that’s not something high end like Land Rover)?

      • 0 avatar

        Hey 28 cars!

        In the Renaut line, the base Duster starts off at about 25 thousand USD. The 4×4 is about 35k. The base EcoSport is about 26k and the 4×4 is oemthing like 37-38k. But they’re not real rugged. A rugged 4×4 would be something like Mitsubishi, or Jeep. They would start at about 70k. Land Roves are all above that mark.

        All numbers off the top of my head.

        Fiat has a so-called Locker system. Not a real 4×4 it blocks one wheel to give you the necessary traction to get out of some holes and disengages when you get over 10km/h. But it is useful in a pinch. Cars equipped with this cost about 30k USD.

        5K USD is about 10k reais. That’s a very big mental hurdle to overcome. Oh yeah, now we get the Lancer. Subarus Imprezas and Forresters also exist. The Mitsu costs at least 75k USD. The Impreza slightly less.

        No cheap real 4×4 cars in Brazil.

    • 0 avatar
      Skink

      I’ve seen the misshapen lumps that are popular in the Brazil market. Keep dancing and drinking! Your market has zero influence on the world.

      • 0 avatar

        If the One Ford strategy is still in place, the Ford EcoSport (you can read my article on it on TTAC), to a degree developed here (the 1st generation seems to have been mostly done here, the new one not so much) appears to be headed to Western Europe. That would prove you wrong. The original Chevy Sail was developed here. Now on sale in China, the world’s largest market, proves you wrong. Fiat Palios have sold in Europe. That proves you wrong. The Gol is popular just south of your border.

        Drinking and dancing will begin in earnest in a week. It’s Carnaval! A 5 day holiday! Though I don’t drink much and dance less, I and my friends enjoy the break.

        Cheers!

      • 0 avatar
        RobertRyan

        I think the “One Ford ” Strategy is not that helpful for Ford globally. 90% of the their global profits come from the sale of Pickups in the NA market.
        Brazilian cars and trucks although very successful in Brazil are not really part of “One Ford” and I cannot see too many of those designs making an impact outside of South America. Brazil is the home of the only remaining HDT Ford Truck in the Americas.

      • 0 avatar

        Hey RobertRyan!

        A agree with you there. Fiat, VW, GM and Renault all produce local, specific vehicles for our local market. They’re laughing all the way to the bank. Back in th 80s Ford had the same strategy. It was called the world car back then, but the reality was that the Ford Escort was too expensive to compete with other locals on price. And Ford bled market share, and was almost taken over by VW (in an unsuccesful venture called Autolatina). They run the risk of falling into the same trap this time. One would think Mullaly or Ford family people are aware of this history. Alas…Let’s see what ehy can pull off because the future is in low cost brands. Renault-Nissan are blazing the trail into the future. For good or worse.

        What’s an HDT truck? Sorry for y ignorance.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    I don’t read Car and Driver… but I can just imagine being shuffled off to wherever this will be built for a test drive, this being unveiled to me, and the first words out of my mouth being “What the **** is that?”.

  • avatar

    as one who has owned ten alfas, and still has two, being an 87 quad and a 164, as well as a classic wagoneer, and has actually dealt with the Italian management in Alfa’s pre 95 itineration, I can confidently predict disaster – there has been no change in attitude for the better, and their contempt for American consumers will be the death of Chrysler in the long run. As far as Jeep is concerned, I looked at a new model and immediately bought a used Land Rover Disco, and am insanely satisfied, as well as 25 K richer.

  • avatar
    jimboy

    If any of you are interested in the facts, instead of wildly misinterpreted fantasy, go to Allpar.com and they will help lift the fog a little.

  • avatar
    99_XC600

    It kills me to listen to the “Jeep” fans, bitch and moan on how Jeep needs to go back to the roots and go back with the retro styling.

    When the Cherokee was axed in 2001 and the Liberty was introduced in 2002. It was an instant sales success. However all of the “Purists” bitched and moaned on how a huge step back the Liberty was in styling. So Chrysler caved and released the KK version in hopes to satisfy all of the loyal fans.

    Know what happened…no one bought them. And before any one starts to point out how the interior was crude and unrefined. When was the last time you sat in a late release Cherokee and say to yourself…”Yah this is awesome, I want to spend 4 hours in this”.

    The KK Liberty was more true to the Cherokee than anything else and no one bought it. The Cherokee is dead folks..you had your chance. Move on folks

    Chrysler hit it on the the head when they released the KJ Liberty and they new they screwed up a good thing when they tried to satisfy the purists.

    You want heritage…go buy a Wrangler. If you have boobs or married to someone who has boobs. Chances are you will be looking at a Liberkee, Sportage, Santa FE, RAV 4 or a CRV. This is who it’s designed for.

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      True. As long as there is the Wrangler and a Grand Cherokee with the ability of Land Rover, none of the rest of it matters. Personally I would never buy a Jeep without 4X4. I’m only depressed by the # I see running around that are 2×4.

      But to each their own.

    • 0 avatar
      Skink

      The first Liberty was a cartoony, warm n’ fuzzy, Disney hairdresser car. Maybe Jeep found a market with it.

      • 0 avatar
        200k-min

        I have only known women to drive the Liberty so it probably should be called a “Disney hairdresser car.” Those women thought it was cute.

        Personally I’ve never been a JEEP fan. The Cherokee was very unrefined and cramped. The Grand Cherokee was just a fashion statement coming out at the right time. The Wrangler has its place, but it’s not an everyday vehicle for 99.99% of people.

        Since Chrysler hasn’t been able to find success with any SUV/CUV on their Dodge or namesake brand JEEP is pretty much where they have to go for pushing vehicles to compete with the CRV’s, Highlanders and Escapes of the world.

        As I look out my office window at the parking lot I see a heck of a lot of CUV’s out there. Toyota, Honda, Ford, some Hyundai….no Jeep. Nada, nothing. Fiat knows this and expect to see changes.

  • avatar
    ranwhenparked

    I don’t necessarily understand all the reshuffling. Chrysler is doing well right now and they’re basically raking in the cash, they should be more than able to fully fund their product development programs on schedule. Why the delays and rescheduling? Is Chrysler still feeling the lingering effects of Daimler’s cuts in the R&D staff?

    Also, taking Dodge out of the midsize game just feels like a mistake. The goal is still to push Chrysler back upmarket where it belongs, and midsize family sedans are a pretty big segment of the marketplace – there should be room for a lower priced model under the new 200.

    • 0 avatar
      patchnparrot

      The troubles at Chrysler reflect the institutional chaos at FIAT. This will all end in tears, just wait. FIAT’s been dead for years, if not decades, just too dumb to fall down. And waiting for Alfa? That’s like waiting for Godot.

  • avatar
    Skink

    This squinty-eyed aero Kammback CUV with an incongruous seven slot grille won’t sell. It’s trying to be two different things.

    Nobody will buy this atrocious anachronistic sad sled.

    Too bad Jeep doesn’t have the balls to strike out in its own original direction in this market sector.

    For its market, it’s a me-too vehicle with ugly styling cues that’ll chase away gyno buyers. They’re going for the sexy Mazda CX5 and the new Toyota RAV4. This thing is ugly.

    You want to appeal to the hipster and aging boho crowd? Go for an agrarian, upright, crisp, honest, locavore ethic. Design something with a T-square and put a diesel engine in it. Take the Subaru love ethic and double down. Moreover, double down on straightforward American honesty. You’d sell the hell out of them.

  • avatar
    SilverHawk

    The fake pictures of the new Cherokee are dominating this conversation, but the rescheduling is the real story here. During the next two calendar years, the Cherokee, and the Pro Master cargo van, will be the only new products for the Chrysler Group. The RWD models will be refreshed next year, and some new engine/transmission options will appear, but the new sheet metal, that fascinates us all, will be absent. As we know, Chrysler Group profits have fueled the alliance to this point, but now, the Fiat Group will have to carry a larger percentage of the load. It’s strength in Brazil, and growing production in China will help, but can they compensate for Chrysler Group’s lack of new models? The inherent difficulties in getting the Chrysler & Fiat Groups to work seamlessly in the design of new products was greatly underestimated by Sergio, and the problem must now be fixed. This could leave the entire Group in a very vulnerable position for the next two years, and will be a major test of Sergio’s management skills. On the bright side, this story should provide a surplus of fodder for articles here at TTAC, and will, no doubt, become one of the more interesting automotive stories to follow between now, and 2015. In this age, it still amazes me how quickly the large automotive groups can rise and fall. It’s an industry that truly needs “a few good men” in leadership positions. Interesting times.

    • 0 avatar

      indeed. Great analysis. Tough times ahead. May i add that i know that part of the problem is that fiat underestimated the time and cost it’d take to get Chrysler facilities and processes up to standard. But it’s fiat’s best hope and they’re gicing it their best. Brazil for one is starved of product and investment for one.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      The new 200 replacement will also appear within the next two years. It should be a really big deal when it hits. Within the next two model years, there will be at least 6-7 all new models however.

      Here is a helpful chart.

      http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcsi.dll/storyimage/CA/20130130/OEM04/130139993/V3/0/V3-130139993.jpg&MaxW=622

  • avatar
    Skink

    No new sheet metal for the Liberty? So this is some trial balloon? OK. Sergio can now know how deeply and fervently and lovingly this styling sucks with great squinty eye contact.

    By the way, “it’s” means, “it is”, or, “it has”, and is not the possessive form of, “it”.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      Just reading your comments on this post alone, I feel I’m justified in saying that -you- have no business correcting anyone’s grammar.

      In the same post, you list some adjectives, and use “and” between each one, instead of a comma. Now go away.

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        Ugh, agree. The Truth About Grammar is that way —->

        The false sense of superiority that grammar Nazis provide themselves is so tiring to read.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Agreed, I vigorously review my posts but sometime I got off on a rant and eventually miss something. Nobody’s perfect and criticizing something as trivial as grammar on a car website is sad.

  • avatar
    chicagoland

    Most new Dodge Avengers are rental. Then, dumped into BHPH lots. Any car that can’t sell a good % at retail should be dropped. Rentals and beat up BHPH heaps kill brand image. Just ask GM.

  • avatar
    AMC_CJ

    As owner of a 2006 Jeep Liberty CRD I can say I will NOT be buying that thing. It doesn’t look bad, but I’m sure their going transverse on the drivetrain, dropping the 2-spd transfer case, there probably won’t be a solid axle under that rear either.

    Which means it will be completely useless to me.

    • 0 avatar
      Nate

      I love the old Cherokees. I really do, hell I drive a ’99 4WD every day. I would never, ever buy this. I don’t care how great the engine is, I don’t care how sophisticated the 4WD system is, and I don’t care how many gears the transmission has. This vehicle is not for me.

      But you know what? When I get ready to buy a new 4 door, 4WD Jeep, I’m buying a Wrangler Unlimited. Even if they made an updated, true to tradition Cherokee that was everything my current one is and then some I would still buy a Wrangler over it. The new ones are just that good.

      So I can understand why they’re doing this. You want a capable SUV that’s prettier and tougher (and cheaper) than a Ranger Rover? Buy a Grand Cherokee. You want a body on frame, solid axle SUV that’s better looking than an FJ Cruiser, has a removable top and beats the dog shit out of anything Land Rover makes off road? Rubicon. 2 door or 4 door, your choice! Those vehicles should more than satisfy enthusiasts, and it seems they have.

      The Wrangler Unlimited made a tough, rugged new Cherokee pointless. So, Chrysler has some good power trains laying around, they know how to do interiors now, so why not tap into the small CUV market? Get some of that sweet housewife money. And hell, just because they’re Jeep, they’ll make a version that’s more capable than a Range Rover Evoque even pretends to be. Now, will it be attractive? Too early to tell. But you can’t fault them for trying.

    • 0 avatar
      mkirk

      Where do you draw the line. There are those of us for whom the phrase “capable 4×4″ implies a solid axle out front too, not only in the rear. But even I realize that no car company is going to produce a full line based on this.

      Here is the problem with marketing vehicles to the “4×4 enthusiast” crowd. By and large, we like to beat on our vehicles. As such the prospect of dropping 30-40 grand on a new truck that I will either have to drop 4-5 grand more on armoring up or have a 30-40 thousand dollar rig with trail pin striping and rocker panels kissed by rocks, etc is not a winner. Very few so called 4×4 enthusiasts buy new. The guys that criticize current jeeps are like the 40 series Land Cruiser crowd…They were never going to drive their built 40 to the local Toyota lot and trade it in on an FJ Cruiser. But they will jump on a web site and crow about how the FJ sucks because it can’t run the Rubicon stock.

      The enthusiast market for new vehicles is small and pretty well served by the Rubicon for the well moneyed. The rest of us tinker with our old HiLuxes/Jeeps/4Runners/Land Cruisers/etc and bitch online about how no one builds a truck that we wouldn’t buy if they did.

      • 0 avatar
        AMC_CJ

        I have a 83 CJ7 Renegade if I was to truly go off-road.

        I need capability mainly in towing, and it’s getting harder and harder to find a proper SUV that isn’t the size of a freightliner to do the job. IRS doesn’t work nearly as well with a trailer as a solid-rear axle.

        I test drove the new Wrangler. 1st, it can’t tow my camper. But 2nd, my Liberty seemed to do everything better, except maybe hit the Rubicon trail, but hey, once again, I own a 83 CJ7′. Liberty rode better, was quieter, and that Diesel engine feels more appropriate AND gets better mileage then the Wrangler.

        That Liberty CRD was one of the best true Jeeps ever made. Big-truck in a small package. That was what made a Jeep a Jeep. Diesel engine, heavy-duty drivetrain, etc.

        I plan on holding to it for as long as possible; and save it mostly for trips, bad weather, etc. Still, if I had to replace it, I think I’m just going to re-do a decent old Grand Wagoneer.

  • avatar
    Rod Panhard

    Compared to the other artist renderings of upcoming products over on the Allpar web site, this thing is gorgeous.

  • avatar
    mkirk

    BTW…This looks like someone rebadged the Isuzu Axiom


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