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This week at Detroit, Sergio Marchionne, CEO of Fiat Chrysler seemed to be at a loss for words as he alluded to how good the coming Liberty replacement would be. He even suggested that it would not need a platform mate when it begins rolling off the assembly line at Toledo, sometime later this year.
While every fan of Chrysler hopes this is true, what about Jeepers? What do we really "know" about this new Fiat based vehicle and do Marchionne's aspirations for Jeep, live up to American Jeeper's expectations?

What we know; The Liberty replacement will be CUSW+ based, meaning, like the Dart, strong Fiat DNA in suspension, drivetrain and architecture. This means a front wheel drive, all wheel drive configuration with Jeep Engineers working around the clock to attempt to squeeze a 'Trail Rating' out of the Fiat based vehicle carrying a Jeep nameplate.

We also know that last year, at a dealer meeting, the new 'Liberty' was shown to the Chrysler/Jeep people present and met with disbelieve and shock at the new and different styling direction. How much of that vehicle makes it into the final design, is unknown.

The new Liberty will undoubtedly appeal to consumers looking for the Jeep image while providing interior utility, best in class fuel economy and an all weather capability.

What we don't know is, will that be enough?
Can Jeep survive offering a larger clone of Patriot/Compass, without real Jeep capability and front wheel drive? Have Jeepers already dismissed every Jeep but Wrangler as "real" Jeeps and does Chrysler really care if nothing that makes a Jeep a "Jeep" remains,... as long as it sells well?

One thing is clear, Fiat thinks that consumers care more about the nameplate on the hood, than brand identity and actual capability and Jeep has become nothing more than a marketing slogan.
Will Jeep become a short term success, but a long term asteric, joining Hudson, Packard and Plymouth as valued brands that somewhere along the road, lost their way?
Stay tuned.
 

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His comments about the new Liberty scare me. I'm sure it will be a decent crossover and all but it will not match the capability that should be inherent in every Jeep. Given the rumored drivetrains I don't see how they will even have a low range available. I do understand the need to make the brand profitable and the popularity of crossovers but to me it seems that management has either become lazy or just doesn't get it. What does this attitude say for the future of the Wrangler how long before it's just a glorified crossover and Jeep becomes irrelevant!
 
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His comments about the new Liberty scare me. I'm sure it will be a decent crossover and all but it will not match the capability that should be inherent in every Jeep. Given the rumored drivetrains I don't see how they will even have a low range available. I do understand the need to make the brand profitable and the popularity of crossovers but to me it seems that management has either become lazy or just doesn't get it. What does this attitude say for the future of the Wrangler how long before it's just a glorified crossover and Jeep becomes irrelevant!
As long as Jeep has the Wrangler it will be Jeep to me.

As long as Dodge has the Viper, it wi...oh wait...


Lets see what they come out with. But I have a feeling that, like the Grand Cherokee, it will be a nice car.
 
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I don't know if I would describe the new Liberty as being "a larger clone of Patriot/Compass." I honestly hope it would be better than that - not to discount Patriot or Compass - for what they are, they aren't bad, but they aren't really what many expect as a "Jeep." The same can be said for the current Liberty and the new Grand Cherokee - awards and consumer acceptance notwithstanding.

I do know that, today, I always take Marchionne's comments with a grain of salt - or in some cases a large water-softening salt block.
 

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I think by time the only vehicle that will remain true to its Jeep's heritage is the Wrangler.
I haven't seen or read how the GC do in the off-roading, or at least the way Norm likes it. A FWD or a FWD-based SUV is by no mean a trail or offroad capable, and I can't think of anything that is capable regardless the rating sticker, even the Compass/Patriot..
 

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As long as Jeep has the Wrangler it will be Jeep to me. As long as Dodge has the Viper, it wi...oh wait... Lets see what they come out with. But I have a feeling that, like the Grand Cherokee, it will be a nice car.
Now doubt, I agree fully that it will be a nice CAR. But hardly a Jeep. I personally would be fine with this, if they'd just add another real Jeep. Sergio is a car guy. I think he grasps what makes a good car, but appreciating a Jeep is a whole different ball game, different tastes. I suspect that if they were convinced to offer a proper solid roof Jeep, sergio would once again be extremely surprised at it's sales.
 

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i dont want to offend the Jeep nuts on here but I dont really care if the Liberty or Compass wont be a true Jeepster. thats not whats Important these days, and thats what Wranglers are ment for. I dont hear Jeepsters complaing about the 7 Passenger Grand Wagoneer not being a "true jeepster. Who knos maybe Jeep will make the B Segment Jeep a smaller more affordable wrangler. its probably cheaper to rebuild a old Cherokee for off road activities than to buy from the dealer. Maybe Mopar could make body/chassis Kits the way Ford does with the 65 Mustang
 

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sorry to sound like a broken record here ...... but, until you fix the chrysler and dodge brands, the jeep brand will be a mess.
chrysler group has decent products, but has been clueless in marketing (with the exception of minivan) for years and things haven't changed.

their brands are a hodgepodge of conflicting messages to the consumer.
 

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Changes are coming...
300/Charger have been appraised by the media and was appraised for its quality and for once recommended by CR.
GC/Durango are doing good the same as above..
Ram is doing good..
Dart seems to be a hit..

To give Chrysler a credit, the segments currently in a big mess are the mid-size, any Jeep other than the GC or Wrangler..
 

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Now doubt, I agree fully that it will be a nice CAR. But hardly a Jeep. I personally would be fine with this, if they'd just add another real Jeep. Sergio is a car guy. I think he grasps what makes a good car, but appreciating a Jeep is a whole different ball game, different tastes. I suspect that if they were convinced to offer a proper solid roof Jeep, sergio would once again be extremely surprised at it's sales.
I would forgive them the car based Jeeps if they would expand the Wrangler variants so you would have a "best of both worlds" situation but all we seem to get are excuses while they tease us with concepts we will never be able to buy. I'm sick and tired of waiting only to be disappointed over and over.
 
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Liberkee® launch: While many of you are pondering how a 'larger Patriot/Compass' will do, here's another angle to consider:

Liberkee®, depending on execution, may be seen as a more affordable Grand Cherokee, and if more available on lots, may be actually an alternative to the GC, if GC's arent' readily available. Hence, keeping TNAP busy, while relieving demand on JNAP, freeing up production for GW/Kabang.
 

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I would forgive them the car based Jeeps if they would expand the Wrangler variants so you would have a "best of both worlds" situation but all we seem to get are excuses while they tease us with concepts we will never be able to buy. I'm sick and tired of waiting only to be disappointed over and over.
really that's all jeep should make is wrangler, a pickup truck, and something liberty size.
 

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I don't think the management is willing to see a lose in sale of a product to another..
The same way why I think Durango/GW/GC are different animals..
 

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Norm,

Just curious and I hope I haven't missed it some where, but do you have a list features, capabilities amenities, etc. that a Jeep MUST have for you to consider it a "real" Jeep.
 

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really that's all jeep should make is wrangler, a pickup truck, and something liberty size.
Yes according to the enthusaists' view
No according to the market and the way there shaping the brands..
 

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"Sergio Marchionne, CEO of Fiat Chrysler seemed to be at a loss for words as he alluded to how good the coming Liberty replacement would be."

He seems very confident that it would be a great success as a product and will also be capable. If it does fill the capacity assigned to it in Toledo there is no negative but to those who would paint Jeep into corner. Greater profits, more workers, a solid brand, and secure company that will have the revenue to develop other models. A successful Liberty replacement might threaten those who don't own or have responsiblity for the brand and wish to define Jeep as there own, but as a corporation it is great news. WIth all the good news around Chyrsler and Jeep why try to find a negative in a potential success.

A successful Liberty might help pay for some of those Wrangler variants that are wished for.
 

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I think it has to do with Modifications to allow large tires taller suspensions ect anything to make a Jeep even more rugid.
 

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Yes according to the enthusaists' view
No according to the market and the way there shaping the brands..
they need to rehabilitate the chrysler and dodge brands to take the pressure off of Jeep.
and really what they need to do is rehabilitate either chrysler brand or dodge brand, and dump the other. the company is too small at 10% share to devote the resources to rebuild two wounded brands.
 

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Norm,

Just curious and I hope I haven't missed it some where, but do you have a list features, capabilities amenities, etc. that a Jeep MUST have for you to consider it a "real" Jeep.
It's a pretty long list.
 

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sorry to sound like a broken record here ...... but, until you fix the chrysler and dodge brands, the jeep brand will be a mess.
chrysler group has decent products, but has been clueless in marketing (with the exception of minivan) for years and things haven't changed.

their brands are a hodgepodge of conflicting messages to the consumer.
According to who ? Either quote a source or just say it is your opinion.
 
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