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Jeep to head the soft, compact route

Jeep trio: Chrysler boss Tom LaSorda with (from left) Compass, Commander and Patriot.

Two new compact Jeeps on target for 2007 debut, but seven-seat Commander here first

8 Nov 2005

CHRYSLER Jeep Australia/Pacific’s volume-selling Jeep brand is in for a new-model revival, with the Compass and Patriot compact four-wheel drive wagons both slated for release in 2007.

The Patriot and Compass Rallye concepts were revealed at the Frankfurt motor show in September, and while Australian officials describe the latter as Jeep’s first direct rival for the likes of Toyota’s RAV4, the harder-core Patriot will be pitched at larger vehicles such as Nissan’s popular X-Trail.

The Patriot is currently under evaluation for Australian sales and, if approved, Chrysler Jeep Australia expects to announce its 2007 release around June next year.

9 center imageBefore then, however, Jeep’s first seven-seater 4WD, the Grand Cherokee-based long-wheelbase Commander, is expected to join the line-up next year.

Already on sale in the US, the Commander is powered by the same engines as Grand Cherokee and will be positioned as Jeep’s new flagship model.

Commander’s Australian fate will be known by February, and depends largely upon demand from other right-hand drive markets including the UK and South Africa.

Increased sales of Wrangler – the next generation of which will comprise two wheelbases – and the Grand Cherokee CRD helped Jeep to its best Australian September sales in eight years, with stocks of the latter currently exhausted until 2006 model year vehicles arrive this month.

Thanks to 32 per cent stronger Jeep sales month on month, Chrysler Jeep Australia/Pacific has sold 5548 vehicles to the end of September and expects the new Chrysler 300C sedan to push its 2005 total beyond 7000.

What's coming from Jeep:

Commander large SUV - 2007
Compass compact SUV - 2007
Patriot compact SUV - 2007
Grand Cherokee SRT-8 variant - TBC
All-new Wrangler off-roader - 2008

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