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The irony of the Patriot

by David Zatz on

Just two weeks ago, Jeep shut down its Compass and Patriot line, and started converting their plant to make Cherokees. Ironically, 2016 turned out to be, by a good margin, the best year ever for the twins — even better than years in which you could add the Dodge Caliber into the mix.

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The irony doesn’t end there. In the US, the Patriot has consistently outsold the Compass, never failing to do so; in its final year, 2016, the company sold around 28,000 more Patriots than Compasses. Indeed, the Patriot, with 121,926 changing hands in the US alone, outsold any single Chrysler or Dodge save for the Caravan. It also out-sold its replacement, the Renegade, by a good margin.

Compass and Patriot sales

Sales of the Compass and Patriot were 192,722 in 2015, according to revised figures — beating every year until then, including 2007, when the Compass, Patriot, and Caliber all totaled 181,004 with the low-priced Caliber taking the lion’s share (101,079). Starting in 2011, when its exterior was restyled, the Patriot beat the Caliber, too.

The Compass, Patriot, and Caliber are all being replaced by cars on the SUSW design — the new Compass, the Renegade, and a projected Chrysler Neon or Chrysler 100. So far, the Renegade has been a runaway hit in Europe, but hasn’t really challenged the Patriot in the US.   That said, the Renegade and new Compass are much better suited to worldwide sales than the old Compass and Patriot.

The Jeep Patriot, much maligned through its life, had the last laugh, with sales increasing steadily since 2009 and a most successful final year. The outgoing Compass, too, has had a good laugh, with sales rising since 2012 and a respectable final year.

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